Russia Ukraine news: Biden details defense assistance


President Joe Biden on Wednesday detailed how the United State will spend $800 million in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine approved this week, and promised to “do more in the days and weeks ahead” as that nation fights against Russian invaders.

The funds will go toward 800 anti-aircraft systems, 9,000 anti-armor systems, 7,000 small-arm machine guns, as well as grenade launchers and shotguns.

Biden on Tuesday signed a $1.5 trillion government spending package that included money for both humanitarian and military assistance for the nation that has spent nearly three weeks fighting off a Russian invasion.

The U.S. aims both to help care for the more than 3 million Ukrainians displaced by the war and bolster the country’s defenses as Russian forces try to encircle the capital city Kyiv.

“May God protect the Ukrainians who are out there defending their country,” Biden said in remarks detailing the assistance, which he delivered at the White House.

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Biden has helped to lead international efforts to hamper Russia’s economy in response to the assault on Ukraine. He has said he opposes sending troops or offensive weapons to Ukraine because it could risk turning the war there into a global firefight.

Biden spoke hours after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to the U.S. Congress for more help in fighting back the invasion.

In a virtual address from Kyiv, Zelenskyy asked the U.S. to set up a no-fly zone over Ukraine, sanction Russian politicians and shut down business operations in Russia.

The U.S. and its NATO allies have resisted calls to implement a no-fly zone because it could draw them into direct conflict with Russian forces.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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