Biden Authorizes $800 Million More In Military Assistance For Ukraine

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden authorized $800 million in new military assistance for Ukraine on Tuesday.

The latest military assistance brings the total aid money given to Ukraine since the invasion began to over $2.4 billion, according to Reuters. Tuesday’s package will provide “weapons, ammunitions, and other security assistance,” as well as “new capabilities” not previously given by the administration, Biden said in a statement.

“This new package of assistance will contain many of the highly effective weapons systems we have already provided and new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine,” Biden said. “These new capabilities include artillery systems, artillery rounds, and armored personnel carriers. I have also approved the transfer of additional helicopters. In addition, we continue to facilitate the transfer of significant capabilities from our Allies and partners around the world.”

Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy about the latest package Tuesday, according to the White House. (RELATED: Biden Declares Putin ‘Cannot Remain In Power,’ White House Quickly Walks It Back)

“The Ukrainian military has used the weapons we are providing to devastating effect. As Russia prepares to intensify its attack in the Donbas region, the United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to defend itself,” Biden continued in his statement.

Biden, speaking Monday in Iowa, referred to Putin’s actions in Ukraine as “genocide” for the first time. He doubled down on his comment shortly afterwards, though he noted that they’d “let the lawyers decide, internationally, whether or not it qualifies” as genocide officially.

“The evidence is mounting,” the president said. “We’ll let the lawyers decide, internationally, whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me.”

Zelenskyy praised Biden’s declaration shortly afterwards, tweeting that they were “true words of a true leader.”