President Joe Biden will provide an update on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday as he works to complete a new weapons package for his military.
Biden will address Americans from the Roosevelt Room of the White House at 9:45 a.m. (1345 GMT) and a source familiar with the schedule said he “expects to provide an update on our efforts to support Ukraine and the aid we receive.” offer.”
The new weapons package would likely be about the same size as the $800 million package announced last week, but details are still being worked out, another US official previously told Reuters.
On Wednesday, Biden convened US military leaders at an annual meeting in the White House that took on special significance as the war entered a risky new phase.
Opening the meeting, Biden praised the toughness of the Ukrainian military and said NATO’s unity had shocked Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia has said it has entered a new phase of its operation and is methodically trying to “liberate” the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Western allies expect the Russian campaign to last many months, lead to a stalemate and test the battlefield capabilities of Ukrainian fighters.
Russia says it launched a “special military operation” on Feb. 24 to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine. Kiev and its western allies reject that as a false pretext.
US troops do not fight in Ukraine, but are indirectly involved in arming, training and financing their troops.
US aid announced last week included artillery systems, artillery shells, armored personnel carriers and unmanned coastal defense boats, extending the scope of equipment sent to Kiev to include new types of heavy equipment.
If this week’s aid package is as big as expected, it would bring total US military aid to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion to more than $3 billion.
Following Biden’s announcement, he will fly to the Pacific Northwest for a two-day trip to promote his domestic agenda.
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