President Joe Biden is asking Congress to green light a $33 billion package of military, humanitarian, and economic assistance for the government of Ukraine, he announced today.
“We said we'd not send U.S. troops to fight Russian troops in Ukraine, but we would provide robust military assistance and try to unify the Western world against Russia's aggression,” Biden said in a briefing to reporters at the White House. “The cost of this fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen.”
Biden said Russian assets from oligarchs that were seized from previous sanctions leveled at President Vladimir Putin’s regime and his retinue will partly fund the package to Ukraine and will include critical medical and food assistance.
The President also called out the increasingly threatening talk of nuclear war coming out of the Kremlin.
“No one should be making idle comments about nuclear weapons,” Biden said. “Threats will not win.”
Biden was clear that this new ask for Congress would ensure that arms would continue moving to Ukraine without pause, especially as the war in the Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region heats up.
“It's going to keep weapons and ammunition flowing without interruption to the brave Ukrainian fighters and continue delivering economic and humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people,” he said. “Thanks to the aid we provided, Russian forces have been forced to retreat from Kyiv.”
The gargantuan package adds to the over four billion dollars the Biden administration has spent on Pentagon weapons transfers to Ukraine that included howitzer artillery guns, rocket launchers, Javelin anti-tank weapons, helicopters, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, attack drones, and thousands of rounds of ammunition, along with military trainers and critical intelligence.
The Ukrainian war effort continues to defy all odds, as the Ukrainian military continues to resist the much larger and better equipped Russia, a force many experts saw as the second most powerful military in the world after the U.S. before the invasion. The Javelin in particular—an American weapon first developed for U.S. soldiers in the eighties—has been used to great effect against Russian tanks and has become a national symbol of Ukraine.