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White House prepares more security aid for Ukraine

The United States has deployed several rounds of assistance to Ukraine in recent weeks as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country dragged on for 55 days and Ukrainian forces largely succeeded in repelling the Russian invaders.

Following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s impassioned speech to Congress last month, the administration announced $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine. When Biden visited Europe the following week, he announced an additional $1 billion in humanitarian aid.

Biden also told Zelenskyy on a call last month that the United States would provide Ukraine with an additional $500 million in budget assistance, and the White House budget plan includes $682 million to help Ukraine. Ukraine to fight Russia.

But after pulling back from around the capital of Kyiv in northern Ukraine, Russian forces are now launching a fresh assault into the Donbass – an offensive that US and Ukrainian officials have repeatedly warned against. this month.

“Now we can already say that Russian troops have started the battle for Donbass,” Zelenskyy said in a video address on Monday, adding that a “significant part of the entire Russian army is now focused on this offensive.”

A senior Defense Ministry official also said on Tuesday that “some limited offensive operations” had begun in the region, which is home to two breakaway areas largely held by Moscow-backed separatists: the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and the popular in Luhansk.

At the same time, Russian forces continue to carry out “training operations” in eastern Ukraine, and the current attacks “are preludes to larger offensive operations” in Donbass, the official said, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

During a call Tuesday with U.S. allies and partners, Biden and fellow world leaders discussed “international support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, including the continued provision of security, economic and humanitarian assistance. “, according to a reading from the White House. They also discussed “their coordinated efforts to impose significant economic costs to hold Russia accountable.”