The US and EU promised on Wednesday to send Ukraine more military equipment, a commitment totaling more than $1 billion. President Biden said he told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he approved $800 million in weapons, ammunition, and other security assistance, the Washington Post reports. And the EU's European Council said it was contributing another $544 million in support for Ukrainian's war effort. The nation's armed forces are preparing for a Russian offensive in the east.
Pentagon officials said the materiel includes 200 M-113 armored personnel carriers, 100 armored Humvees, 300 Switchblade drones, 11 MI-17 helicopters, and 155mm howitzer artillery, which Ukraine requested. The shipment has "new capabilities that we have not provided to Ukraine," spokesman John Kirby said, per ABC News, included to combat the anticipated assault in the east. "In addition," Biden said in a statement, "we continue to facilitate the transfer of significant capabilities from our Allies and partners around the world."
Zelensky said in his daily speech to his nation that he's "sincerely thankful" for the military assistance, per the AP. Recent atrocities committed by Russian troops, including those that Biden has labeled genocide, have made Western nations more open to sending Ukraine military aid, per Axios, after initially worrying about provoking Russia. "We committed from the very beginning, even before the invasion, to helping Ukraine be able to defend itself. This is a piece of that," Kelly said, adding, "How that gets interpreted by the Russians, you can ask Mr. Putin and the Kremlin." (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)