Following Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky speech to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday morning, President Joe Biden announced an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine, bringing the total U.S. security assistance committed to Ukraine to $1 billion in just the past week, and a total of $2 billion since the start of the Biden Administration.
“The assistance will take the form of direct transfers of equipment from the Department of Defense to the Ukrainian military to help them defend their country against Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion,” the White House stated.
“This could be a long and difficult battle, but the American people will be steadfast in our support for the people in Ukraine in the face of Putin’s immoral, unethical attacks on civilian populations,” Biden said.
The new $800 million assistance package includes:
- 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems;
- 2,000 Javelin, 1,000 light anti-armor weapons, and 6,000 AT-4 anti-armor systems;
- 100 Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems;
- 100 grenade launchers, 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, and 400 shotguns;
- Over 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition and grenade launcher and mortar rounds;
- 25,000 sets of body armor; and
- 25,000 helmets.
“Friends, Americans, in your great history, you have pages that would allow you to understand Ukrainians, understand us now, when we need you right now,” Zelensky said in his speech to Congress, according to a rough translation.
“Remember Pearl Harbor, terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you,” Zelensky said. “Just remember it, remember, September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn US cities into battlefields, when innocent people were attacked from air, just like nobody else expected it and you could not stop it. Our country experiences the same, every day, right now.”
“Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people,” Zelensky continued. “Russian troops have already fired nearly 1,000 missiles at Ukraine, countless bombs they use drones to kill us with precision. This is a terror that Europe has not seen, has not seen for 80 years and we are asking for a reply for an answer to this terror from the whole world is there’s a lot to ask for to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine to save people.”
“Is this too much to ask humanitarian no-fly zone, something that Ukraine it that Russia would not be able to terrorize our Free Cities,” Zelensky asked. “Is this too much to ask? We offer an alternative: you know what kind of defense systems we need. 300 and other similar systems, you know how much depends on the battlefield on their ability to use aircraft. Powerful, strong air aviation to protect our people with freedom or learn aircraft that can help Ukraine help Europe and you know that they exist and you have them but they are on earth not in Ukraine in the Ukrainian sky.”
“They don’t defend our people. I have a dream,” Zelensky added. “These words are known to each of you today. I can say I have a need. I need to protect our sky. I need your decision. Your help. Which means exactly the same. The same you feel when you hear the words. I have a dream.”