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US President Joe Biden has announced an additional $ 800 million in military aid to Ukraine, expanding the range of organizations including heavy artillery in the run-up to the expected widespread Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine.
Biden said in a statement after a phone call with his Ukrainian envoy Volodymyr Zhelensky on Wednesday that it included artillery shells, artillery shells, armored personnel carriers and unmanned aerial vehicles.
This package brings the total military aid to Ukraine to more than $ 2.5 billion since the start of the Russian offensive in February.
Biden said it had agreed to provide additional helicopters to Kiev. He stressed that the equipment provided to Ukraine was “important”.
“We can not rest now. As I promised President Zhelensky, the American people will continue to stand with the brave Ukrainian people in their struggle for independence,” Biden said in a statement.
The new package includes 11 Mi-17 helicopters, which were sent to Afghanistan before the fall of the US-backed government last year.
It includes 18 155 mm howitzers, 40,000 rounds of artillery, anti-artillery radars, 200 armored personnel carriers and 300 additional switchboard drones.
This is the first time the United States has provided howitzers to Ukraine.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said some organizations, such as howitzers and radars, would require additional training for Ukrainian forces unfamiliar with US military equipment.
When asked about the speed of delivery, Kirby said, “We know time is not on our side.”
Zhelensky appeals to US and European leaders to supply his country with weapons and heavy equipment.
Russia said on Wednesday it had captured the port of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine and that more than 1,000 Ukrainian sailors had surrendered.
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