President Biden Announces $500 Million in Additional Military Aid during Trip to Kyiv

President Joe Biden announced the latest military aid package to Ukraine during his surprise visit to Kyiv before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

During a Monday visit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the president announced the new aid, pledging $500 million. However, he did not provide further details on what would be included in the package. The aid package brings the total amount of military aid provided to Ukraine by the United States since the invasion to almost $30 billion.

Biden said the aid package would include additional military equipment, including artillery ammunition and more howitzers and Javelins. He didn’t indicate any military equipment that hadn’t already been provided to Ukraine during the conflict.

President Biden also indicated that further sanctions against Russia would be announced later in the week.

In a statement, the Department of Defense said the aid package would come from President Biden’s drawdown authority, which means the weapons will come directly from U.S. stockpiles. The Defense Department valued the aid package at up to $460 million.

In comments to reporters, while making an appearance with Zelensky, the president repeated his continued support for Ukraine.

“You said that you didn’t know when we’d be able to speak again. That dark night one year ago, the world was literally at the time bracing for the fall of Kyiv,” said Biden. “Perhaps even the end of Ukraine … One year later, Kyiv stands. And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you.”

President Zelensky said he and President Biden spoke about more military systems

President Zelensky said he and President Biden spoke about “long-range weapons and the weapons that may still be supplied to Ukraine even though it wasn’t supplied before.” Long-range weapons are one of the most substantial requests made by the U.S. that haven’t yet been met.

Although President Biden continues to support Ukraine’s ongoing efforts to fight back Russian aggression, he has not yet provided certain weapons out of fear of possible Russian escalation.

Fighter jets and long-range missiles remain the Ukrainians’ top requests not yet provided. However, the president has frequently changed his mind and provided Ukraine with weapons systems that he previously declined to offer.

The majority of lawmakers on Capitol Hill continue to support sending aid to Ukraine as the war soon enters its second year. However, there is now a growing vocal minority, particularly in conservative Republican circles, who are advocating the United States end its support for Ukraine.