Biden celebrates Ukraine's independence day with biggest arms package yet

Ukraine will receive artillery, drones, and anti-aircraft weaponry to keep fighting “over the long term”

US President Joe Biden declared Wednesday that an additional $2.98 Billion worth of arms will be shipped to Kiev. In an announcement coinciding with Ukraine’s Independence Day, Biden said that the US envisions Kiev fighting for some time to come.

A White House statement stated that Ukraine would receive the funds. “air defense systems, artillery systems and munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and radars to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term.”

The Associated Press and CBS were informed Tuesday by US officials that they would provide at least three types of drones in their package. They include the Puma drone launched from the ground, ScanEagle’s surveillance vehicle with a greater range, and UK-made Vampire drone. This drone was never provided to Kiev.

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FILE PHOTO. Weapons arrive at Boryspil Airport near Kiev in January. ©Sean Gallup / Getty Images
‘Months or years’ before US arms reach Ukraine – media

Referencing Ukraine’s independence day, which celebrates its split from the Soviet Union in 1991, Biden said that “today is not only a celebration of the past, but a resounding affirmation that Ukraine proudly remains – and will remain – a sovereign and independent nation.”His vow to support Ukraine’s military “over the long term,” and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s declaration on Tuesday that the alliance would back Kiev “for as long as it takes,”Evidently, Biden plans to make the conflict a prolonged one.

However, several US media outlets reported on Tuesday that the contents of Wednesday’s arms package may not reach the battlefield for months or even years. The Associated Press was told by unnamed US officials that Washington expected Ukrainian forces to be there. “to fight for years to come.”

It has proved costly for the US to finance the Ukrainian army. The American economy is suffering from rising fuel costs and inflation, and the Biden administration has so far given more than $54 million in economic and military aid to Kiev.

Russia is continuing to push Ukraine’s southward movements, as well as the border of Donbass republics Donetsk (and Lugansk) where Kiev spent eight years creating a network bunkers and fortifications. Although the death toll for Ukraine is not published, President Vladimir Zelensky stated earlier in summer that between 60 and 100 Ukrainian soldiers are being killed each day in Donbass, along with 500 others.



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