The US pledged an unprecedented $350 million in assistance to Ukraine in its struggle against a Russian invasion.
According to a release from the State Department, Secretary of State Antony Blinken remarked Saturday the latest aid package “would include extra lethal defense assistance to assist Ukraine in addressing mechanized, aerial, and other threats.”
Today I authorized the @DeptofDefense to provide an additional $350 million in immediate military assistance to Ukraine to help defend itself from Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war. #UnitedWithUkraine
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 26, 2022
“Today, as Ukraine bravely and proudly defends itself against Russia’s barbaric and unprovoked aggression, I have approved an exceptional third presidential drawdown of up to $350 million for emergency assistance to Ukraine’s defense,” the statement read.
“With this commitment, the US has pledged more than $1 billion in security aid to Ukraine in the last year.”
Assistance and Sanctions
The extra help will go toward “anti-armor assault rifles and various weapons and ammunition, body armor, and associated equipment in support of Ukraine’s front-line defenders confronting Russia’s act of aggression.”
The Pentagon said this on Saturday, bringing Ukraine’s total security aid to $1 billion over the last year.
“We are committed to accelerating security assistance to Ukraine and utilizing all available security cooperation mechanisms to aid the Ukrainian people in defending themselves from Russian aggression,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby added.
Numerous Western nations are stepping forward to support Ukraine.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey promised to “limit” the “movement of Russian warships to the Black Sea,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated Saturday.
The president also thanked Erdogan for his “major military and humanitarian help.”
Call with my Italian counterpart @luigidimaio. Full solidarity with Ukraine. My colleague assured me that Italy will support banning Russia from SWIFT.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 25, 2022
Italy’s authorities said Saturday they would support Russia’s expulsion from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, or SWIFT, the primary system for facilitating cross-border banking transactions and transfers of money.
In contrast, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said his country would not oppose such a move.
A day before, the Biden administration imposed more punitive measures against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
This was following a series of economic sanctions against the Russian financial system, Kremlin insiders, and the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 project after the invasion.
Additionally, the European Union and the United Kingdom said Friday they were freezing Putin’s and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s holdings. The US, on the other hand, has chosen not to pursue Russia’s expulsion from SWIFT.
Biden recently stated, “The penalties we’ve suggested against all their banks are of equal, if not greater, consequence than SWIFT, No. 1. No. 2. It is always a possibility, but the rest of Europe does not intend to adopt that position at the moment.”
Putin has not recanted, daring Biden to go. According to a senior defense source, Russia is making a “march” towards Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, with the purpose of “decapitating” the government.
Despite Russia’s attempts, the official said Friday that soldiers encountered greater resistance than anticipated.
Ukraine claims it caused approximately 3,000 injuries among Russian troops on the first day of combat, as well as significant damage to Russian munitions.