United States President Joe Biden has announced nearly $3 billion in new military aid for Ukraine to coincide with the country’s Independence Day celebrations.
Biden, in a statement on Wednesday, said, “I know this Independence Day is bittersweet for many Ukrainians as thousands have been killed or wounded, millions have been displaced from their homes, and so many others have fallen victim to Russian atrocities and attacks.
“But six months of relentless attacks have only strengthened Ukrainians’ pride in themselves, in their country, and in their 31 years of independence.”
Mentioning it as “the biggest tranche of security assistance to date,” the White House said it would give Ukraine $2.98billion of weapons and equipment.
It said, “This will allow Ukraine to acquire air defence systems, artillery systems and munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and radars to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term.”
Ukraine was celebrating both its national day and also marking the six months since Russia launched its invasion.
Both neighbouring countries have been fighting since February this year.
As of today, several casualties have been recorded as a result of the war.
Meanwhile, in a video message distributed to mark the occasion, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated his position that Kiev wouldn’t cede territory to the Russian forces.
“For us, Ukraine is the whole of Ukraine,” he said, insisting that this included Donbass, the Crimean peninsula and all regions under Russian occupation.
“We will fight until the end,” Zelensky said in the emotional speech recorded on Kiev’s Independence Square, where destroyed Russian military equipment, including tanks, could be seen.”