President Joe Biden announced his decision to provide an additional $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine on Wednesday.
The president spoke at the White House about his additional support after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Congress and urged them for more support to help them fight against Russia’s invasion of their country.
Biden boasted of the “unprecedented assistance” he had prepared for Ukraine, thanking Congress for passing over $13 billion in aid and support funds for the conflict.
The president detailed an additional $800 million in aid to Ukraine on top of $300 million in recent weeks to assist their fight against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He said the United States would provide 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems some with longer ranges, as 9,000 anti-armor systems, and 100 drones.
He also detailed a surge of small arms including 100 grenade launchers, 1,000 pistols, 5,000 rifles, 400 machine guns, 400 shotguns, and 20 million rounds of ammunition.
“More will be coming,” Biden promised.
Biden spoke on his artificial White House set in the Executive Office Building, with Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley standing beside him.
Biden warned that Ukraine’s fight against Russia would be arduous, but that Americans would stand with them.
“I want to be honest with you. This could be a long and difficult battle,” he said. “But the American people will be steadfast in our support of the people of Ukraine.”
Biden also noted the United States had “experts on the ground” in Poland and neighboring countries to assist Ukrainians with “real-time assessments” to get aid into their hands.
The president painted Ukraine’s fight as a historic battle for freedom.
“This is a struggle that pits the appetites of an autocrat against humankind’s desire to be free,” he said. “And let there be no doubt, no uncertainty, no question: America stands with the forces of freedom. We always have and we always will.”