Ukrainian troops fired one of their new French-made self-propelled howitzers toward Russian-controlled areas, as Kyiv urges Western countries to provide more military hardware.
The United States is sending another $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, Washington’s biggest tranche yet of weaponry and equipment targeted to confront Russia’s slow but relentless advance on Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.
U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement Wednesday he informed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of the new shipment in a phone call and that it would include additional artillery, coastal defense weapons, ammunition and advanced rocket systems Kyiv’s forces need to fend off Moscow’s bigger arsenal.
In addition, Biden said the U.S. is sending Ukraine $225 million more in humanitarian aid to help its beleaguered citizenry, including safe drinking water, critical medical supplies and health care, food, shelter, and cash for families to purchase essential items.
“The bravery, resilience, and determination of the Ukrainian people continues to inspire the world,” Biden said. “And the United States, together with our allies and partners, will not waver in our commitment to the Ukrainian people as they fight for their freedom.”
The aid announcement came as U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met in Brussels with allied defense ministers from more than 45 countries that have been supplying armaments to Ukraine’s forces. Russia is attempting to take full control of eastern Ukraine after failing earlier in the 3½-month invasion to topple Zelenskyy’s government or capture the capital, Kyiv.
Opening the talks with the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, Austin said Western allies remain “committed to do even more” to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s invasion at what he characterized as a “critical moment on the battlefield.”
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