US Pledges $1 Bln In Additional Security Assistance To Ukraine

The United States has announced $1 billion in additional security assistance to support Ukraine’s armed forces in their fight against Russia in the ongoing war.

President Joe Biden conveyed this to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a call Wednesday.

President Zelenskyy gave an update to Biden on what is going on on the battlefield and on the ground, and apprised him about Ukraine’s security requirements and capabilities going forward.

The two leaders also discussed US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s efforts in Brussels to coordinate additional international support for the Ukrainian armed forces, according to the White House.

The military asistance will include additional artillery and coastal defense weapons, as well as ammunition for the artillery and advanced rocket systems that the Ukrainians need to support their defensive operations in the Donbas.

Biden has also announced an additional $225 million in humanitarian assistance to help people inside Ukraine, including by supplying safe drinking water, critical medical supplies and health care, food, shelter, and cash for families to purchase essential items.

This is the 12th tranche of presidential drawdowns to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian onslaught. And that brings the total amount of security assistance that the Biden administration provided to Ukraine to approximately $5.6 billion since Russia launched its assault in late February.

Meanwhile, The leaders of France, Germany and Italy arrived in Kyiv on a high-profile trip amid criticisms over their lukewarm support for Ukraine in their fight against Russia.

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday visited Irpin, a town near Kyiv which Russian troops brutally occupied at the beginning of the war.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said he believes tens of thousands of Ukrainians have been killed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Russian forces say they will reopen a humanitarian corridor for civilians to leave the Azot chemical plant in Severdonetsk after its planned evacuation on Wednesday failed to materialize, Interfax news reports.

10,000 civilians are trapped in the embattled eastern city, according to Luhansk regional governor Sergei Haidai.

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