U.S. President Joe Biden is speeding up the process of providing military aid to Ukraine, as the war enters its third month
Biden is vowing to support Ukraine “in their fight to defend their country and their democracy” against Vladimir Putin’s terror.
The bill was passed in the House last month with a 417-10 vote, and unanimously through the Senate, a rare moment of bipartisanship for lawmakers.
The President signed into law S3522, the “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022,” making it easier to export military equipment to Ukraine.
Biden sped up military aid to Ukraine on Monday, signing a present-day version of a lending program that helped defeat Hitler’s Germany.
The original Lend-Lease Act let Washington lend or lease weapons to its allies — the new version will allow the same to Ukraine immediately.
Before he signed the bill, Biden said it was time again to form a global force for peace.
“Every day Ukrainians pay with their lives and they fight along with the atrocities that the Russians are engaging in are just beyond the pale. And the cost to the fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is even more costly. That’s why we’re staying in this.”
The sole condition is repayment at some later date, and the policy will also help other eastern European countries affected by Russia’s invasion.
President Vladimir Putin calls Russia’s actions in Ukraine a “special military operation” to disarm the country and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and the West say the fascism claim is a false pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression by Russia.
The signing came the same day U.S. lawmakers agreed to rush nearly $40 billion in additional aid to Ukraine, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
A proposal for additional COVID-19 funding, which some Democrats wanted to pass along with the emergency Ukraine aid, will now be considered in a separate vote, something Senate Republican Mitch McConnell told reporters he was pleased about.
He had repeatedly advocated for a “clean” Ukraine bill in the Senate.
Both houses of Congress are expected to quickly approve additional funding for Ukraine, which exceeds the $33 billion requested by Biden last month.
The expedited funding comes just as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urged Congress to act quickly, writing that the military had just enough money to send weapons to Ukraine for the next two weeks.
Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests break out in Russia
Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests over Putin’s mobilisation plan break out in Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
Zelensky says his nation just wants peace and believes Russia should be punished and ostracised for its actions.
“A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we demand just punishment. The crime was committed against our state borders. The crime was committed against the lives of our people,” Zelensky said. “Ukraine demands punishment for trying to steal our territory”.
In the powerful speech, the Ukrainian President also called for Russia to lose its U.N. veto power. Russia is currently one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.
He is also seeking more military aid, pleading for more weapons to help liberate his country’s land.
Protests engulf major Russia cities
In Russia, police have arrested hundreds of protestors who are rallying against Vladimir Putin’s military mobilisation.
Human rights group OVD Info estimates more than 1,000 people have been taken into custody so far. The largest number of arrests were made in St Petersburg and Moscow.
As the Kremlin announced its intention to call up thousands of extra troops to fight the warn in Ukraine, flights departing Russia sold out almost immediately.
The mobilisation will likely see at least 300,000 military reservists drafted to bolster Russia’s forces.
In Moscow, the prosecutor’s office is warning that calls on the internet to join protests, or participation in these protests, could result in up to 15 years in jail time.
Russia’s disinformation laws about the war have made public demonstrations rare.
In his first national televised address since the war began, Putin said he will use “all available means” to protect Russian territory.
In theory, this could include nuclear weapons.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance remains vigilant.
“We will make sure that there is no misunderstanding in Moscow about exactly how we will react. Of course it depends upon what kind of situation or what kind or weapons they may use. The most important thing is to prevent that from happening and that is why we have been so clear in our communications with Russia about the unprecedented consequences,” Stoltenberg said.
Meanwhile, Putin’s mobilisation follows weeks of heavy losses for Russia in Ukraine, with Kyiv recapturing a huge area just east of Kharkiv.
U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future
U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future, but there is a catch
The U.S. will provide tanks to Ukraine in the future, but issues with maintenance and training may delay the rollout.
Ukraine has received billions of dollars worth of weapons and military equipment, allowing the war-torn nation to defend itself against Putin’s regime.
Russian forces are continuing to “conduct airstrikes that are impacting civilian infrastructure”, most recently striking a “dam near Kryvyi Rih”, according to a top U.S. official.
“This disturbing pattern which includes strikes that hit power stations last week continues to show Russian forces’ disregard for civilian life,” the official added.
When it comes to further military aid, the offical confirmed tanks are “absolutely on the table”, but are not an option for the immediate battle.
Once training, maintenance and sustainment issues are addressed, the roll out is more likely.
This follows verified reports Ukraine has successfully shot down 55 Russian
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed there would be no let-up in fighting to regain
territory lost to Russia.
Mass burial site discovered in Ukraine
A mass grave with over 400 bodies has been found in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region
The price of war is beginning to reveal itself in Ukraine as a mass grave, with over 400 bodies has been discovered in the recently liberated Kharkiv region.
The burial site was found in the city of Izyum, an area captured by Russian forces at the beginning of the war, and a victim to ultimate brutality.
Over recent days, Ukrainian forces have recaptured the area. So far, they have discovered over 1000 bodies in the city, with this number rising every day.
The mass grave site shows the extent of Russia’s atrocities, although Russia denies responsibility.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is launching an investigation and says “Russia leaves death everywhere and it must be held accountable for that.”
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