Hours after Ukraine's president appealed directly to Congress and urged the U.S. to "do more" to aid his country amid a Russian invasion, President Joe Biden signed an order that will provide Ukraine with an additional $800 million in military equipment.
During his remarks on Wednesday, Biden said that the order would equip Ukraine with drones, anti-aircraft systems, firearms and 20 million rounds of ammunition.
However, Biden stopped short of providing Ukraine with fighter jets and the promise to enforce a no-fly zone — two things Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnkyy pleaded for in an address to Congress Wednesday morning.
In his speech, Zelenskyy called on the U.S. to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, invoking images of Sept. 11 and Pearl Harbor while describing how Russia has turned the sky "into a source of death for thousands of people."
Zelenskyy also addressed Biden directly, in English, and called on his counterpart to be a "leader of peace."
Despite Zelenskyy's pleas, Biden and NATO have been reluctant to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine. They believe such an action would force the U.S. and NATO to engage directly with Russian forces, which could cause war the war to spill out beyond Ukraine.
Biden's views mirror those of other NATO allies, who say they will continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine but will not engage with Russia directly unless they invade NATO territory.
Biden's order comes a day after he signed a budget bill that provides $13.6 billion in both military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Here's a fact sheet from the White House about what's included:
President Biden today 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 new $800 million assistance package includes:In addition to the weapons listed above, previous United States assistance committed to Ukraine includes:In addition to the U.S.-produced short-range air defense systems the Ukrainians have been using to great effect, the United States has also identified and is helping the Ukrainians acquire additional, longer-range systems on which Ukraine’s forces are already trained, as well as additional munitions for those systems.
The United States continues to expedite the authorization and facilitation of additional assistance to Ukraine from our Allies. At least 30 countries have provided security assistance to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began. In 2022, the Department of State authorized third-party transfers of defensive equipment from more than 14 countries, a number that continues to grow as Allies and Partners increase support to Ukraine.
- 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.
- Over 600 Stinger anti-aircraft systems;
- Approximately 2,600 Javelin anti-armor systems;
- Five Mi-17 helicopters;
- Three patrol boats;
- Four counter-artillery and counter-unmanned aerial system tracking radars;
- Four counter-mortar radar systems;
- 200 grenade launchers and ammunition;
- 200 shotguns and 200 machine guns;
- Nearly 40 million rounds of small arms ammunition and over 1 million grenade, mortar, and artillery rounds;
- 70 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) and other vehicles;
- Secure communications, electronic warfare detection systems, body armor, helmets, and other tactical gear;
- Military medical equipment to support treatment and combat evacuation;
- Explosive ordnance disposal and demining equipment; and
- Satellite imagery and analysis capability.