President Joe Biden is expected to announce an additional $750 million in military assistance for Ukraine to defend itself against Russia’s invasion, according to an exclusive Reuters report.
The amount would be in addition to more than $1.7 billion in security assistance the U.S. has authorized for Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24. The announcement could come as early as Wednesday.
“The equipment would be funded using Presidential Drawdown Authority, or PDA, in which the president can authorize the transfer of articles and services from U.S. stocks without congressional approval in response to an emergency,” Reuters reported on Tuesday.
“One of the officials said final determinations were still being made about the mix of equipment,” it added.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced just last week that the U.S. had authorized $100 million in additional military aid to Ukraine to defend itself against Russia’s ongoing invasion.
“The world has been shocked and appalled by the atrocities committed by Russia’s forces in Bucha and across Ukraine. Ukraine’s forces bravely continue to defend their country and their freedom, and the United States, along with our Allies and partners, stand steadfast in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Blinken said in a statement from the State Department.
The announcement marked the sixth time the Department of Defense has authorized spending for Ukrainian military aid since August.
“I have authorized, pursuant to a delegation from the President earlier today, the immediate drawdown of security assistance valued at up to $100 million to meet Ukraine’s urgent need for additional anti-armor systems. This authorization is the sixth drawdown of arms, equipment, and supplies from Department of Defense inventories for Ukraine since August 2021,” the statement noted.
The report comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky released a video in English on Twitter Wednesday calling for Western nations to “arm Ukraine now.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned in the new video on Wednesday that Russia’s invasion will become an “endless bloodbath” unless Ukraine receives additional weapons.
“Without additional weaponry, this war will become an endless bloodbath, spreading misery, suffering, and destruction. Mariupol, Bucha, Kramatorsk – the list will be continued. Nobody will stop Russia except Ukraine with Heavy Weapons. #ArmUkraineNow,” the post said.
Without additional weaponry, this war will become an endless bloodbath, spreading misery, suffering, and destruction. Mariupol, Bucha, Kramatorsk – the list will be continued. Nobody will stop Russia except Ukraine with Heavy Weapons. #ArmUkraineNow pic.twitter.com/miSOL5zvuA
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 13, 2022
“Russia still has the capacity to attack and not only against Ukraine. Poland, Moldova, Romania, and the Baltic states will become the next targets if the freedom of Ukraine fails. The images of Bucha and Mariupol have demonstrated real Russia’s intentions to the whole world. It could only be stopped by force of arms. It must be done now. Ukraine needs weapon supplies. We need heavy artillery, armored vehicles, air defense systems, and combat aircrafts. Anything to repel Russian forces and stop their war crimes,” Zelensky said in the video.