President Biden plans to announce over $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine.
The over $1 billion in aid will include military equipment the Ukrainian military has found most useful in its ongoing conflict against Russia, including anti-armor and anti-air weapons, according to the reporting from the Wall Street Journal. The funding will come from the over $13 billion that was allotted to Ukraine in the omnibus bill signed by the president this week.
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The funding comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set Wednesday to address Congress, during which he is expected to outline a list of equipment the Ukrainians feel they need to fend off the Russian invasion.
The New York Times reports that the list is not meant to be a replacement for Ukraine’s request for MiG fighter jets from Poland, an effort that has been stalled by the U.S. amid fears that it could serve to escalate tensions between NATO and Russia.
“The intelligence community has assessed that the transfer of MiG-29s may be mistaken as escalatory and could result in significant Russian reaction that might increase the prospects of a military escalation with NATO,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters last week. “Therefore, we also assess the MiG-29s to Ukraine to be high-risk.”
Ukraine’s new request for assistance will include weapons that will help troops on the ground, such as Stinger missiles and anti-tank Javelin missiles. It may also include new assistance such as armed drones and communication jamming equipment.
Zelenskyy made a similar appeal to the Canadian Parliament on Tuesday, though he went a step further by making an appeal for Canadian lawmakers to push for a no fly-zone over Ukraine.
“Imagine that Canadian facilities have been bombed similarly as our buildings and memorial places are being bombed,” Zelensky told Canadian lawmakers. “A number of families have died. Every night is a horrible night.
“We want to live, and we want to be victorious. We want to prevail for the sake of life,” he continued. “Can you imagine when you call your friends and nations, and you ask to please close the sky, close the airspace, please stop the bombing? How many more cruise missiles have to fall on our cities until you make this happen?”