U.S. President Joe Biden announced the activation of $800 million worth of security assistance for Ukraine as it continues its battle with Russia and its military forces.
The Wednesday announcement of aid to Ukraine comes after $200 million were authorized for weaponry on March 12.
“What’s at stake here are the principles that the United States and the united nations across the world stand for,” President Biden said Wednesday. “It’s about freedom. It’s about the right of people to determine their own future. It’s about making sure Ukraine never — will never be a victory for Putin, no matter what advances he makes on the battlefield.”
Biden said the aid will come in the form of 800 anti-aircraft systems designed to stop planes and helicopters, 9,000 anti-armor systems with high-accuracy shoulder-mounted missiles, 7,000 machine guns, shotguns, grenades and launchers. Ammunition for the weapons will also be given to Ukrainian forces, as well as access to drone weapons.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for help from the U.S. through a virtual call in an undisclosed location, Wednesday, prompting the U.S. response.
Zelenskyy asked the U.S. to continue its sanctions against Russia and directly addressed President Biden, saying, “being the leader of the world means being the leader of peace.”
“In your great history, you have pages that would allow you to understand Ukrainians, understand us now, when we need you right now,” Zelenskyy said in his address. “Remember Pearl Harbor. The terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you. Just remember it. Remember September 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when … innocent people were attacked. Attacked from air, yes, just like nobody else expected it. You could not stop it.”