President Joe Biden has announced another round of military aid earmarked to help Ukraine while Russia continues to invade the country.
Update 10:09 a.m. EDT, April 21: Biden announced his administration will be sending financial assistance to Ukraine.
The president also “Unite for Ukraine” to help refugees to come directly from Ukraine to the United States. It will provide a way for legal migration for those with sponsors, either family or a non-governmental organization, or NGO, to get to the U.S. quickly.
The move will allow most refugees to have a “humanitarian parole” for up to two years, as long as they have a sponsor to support them while in America.
But one pipeline into the country — across the U.S., Mexico border — will be shut down to people from Ukraine trying to get into the U.S. will be stopped next week, The Washington Post reported.
So far more than 5 million people, or about 10% of Ukraine’s population, has fled the country to neighboring countries, the Post reported.
About 15,000 Ukrainians have arrived at the U.S./Mexico border over the past thee months, the Post reported.
Biden said that the government will ban Russian ships from any U.S. port. He said no ship flying a Russian flag will have access to the ports or shore of the U.S.
CNN reported that Russian ships is a small percentage of port activity in the U.S.
Update 10:02 a.m. EDT, April 21: Biden announced another $800 million for heavy reality, howitzers, ammunition and tactical drones for the protection of the Donbas region of the country.
That is on top of the $2.6 billon of military aid already sent, The Associated Press reported.
The $13.6 billion approved by Congress last month for both military and humanitarian assistance is “almost exhausted, the president said, according to the AP.
During the announcement, Biden said he was “amazed by the courage” shown by the Ukrainian people as they stand against Russia.
He also said he will be sending Congress a supplemental budget to keep the assistance flowing to Ukraine without interruption.
“In order to sustain Ukraine for the duration of this fight, next week I’m going to have to be sending to Congress a supplemental budget request to keep weapons and ammunition flowing without interruption to the brave Ukrainian fighters and continue to deliver economic assistance to the Ukrainian people,” Biden said, according to CNN.
Original report: The Associated Press reported that the announcement will be in addition to the approximate $2.6 billion the U.S. has already sent to Ukraine.
It is expected to include heavy artillery and ammunition to be sent to forces trying to protect the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
The U.S. is already training Ukrainian military members on the use of 155 mm howitzers, the AP reported.
Biden called the assistance “exceptional” work by the U.S. military as he met with military leaders at the White House for the first in-person, group meeting of his presidency. The traditional meeting had been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to Ukraine a number of times before the war … and I knew they were tough and proud but I tell you what: they’re tougher and more proud than I thought,” Biden said. “I’m amazed at what they’re doing with your help.”
Earlier this week, Canada announced it would be sending heavy artillery to the region. The Netherlands also pledged to send more heavy weapons, including armored vehicles to aid in the fight, the AP reported.
While Biden is pledging more help for Ukraine, many people are saying it’s not enough.
A new poll by the AP and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research said that 54% of Americans polled said Biden has not been “tough enough,” 36% think his administration is about right and 8% said he’s being too tough.
But when it comes to being directly involved in the fighting between Ukraine and Russia, Americans are backing off supporting going that far. Last month, about 40% of Americans supported having a major role. That has slid to 32%, but is still higher than February’s 26%.
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