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U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday announced a new military assistance package for Ukraine as it tries to fight off a sustained Russian invasion, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

The aid tranche will be the ninth the U.S. has sent to Ukraine since Moscow invaded its neighbor in late February.

A $150 million new package will include 25,000 artillery rounds, counter-artillery radars and jamming equipment, according to the officials.

The move came as the Pentagon announced it trained more than 200 Ukrainian soldiers on M777 howitzers, An additional "150 plus" Ukrainian soldiers are currently going through the Howitzer training, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday.

15 Ukrainian soldiers have completed training on the Q-64 mobile air-defense radar system while 60 others have completed M-113 training, and "about 50 more are currently being trained on that right now," Kirby said.

U.S. support, together with the contributions of our Allies and partners, has been critical in helping Ukraine win the battle of Kyiv and hinder Putin's war aims in Ukraine, according to the White House.

"We are sending the weapons and equipment that Congress has authorized directly to the front lines of freedom in Ukraine." Biden said in a statement.

With yesterday's announcement, the administration has nearly exhausted funding that can be used to send security assistance through drawdown authorities for Ukraine.

"This brings total U.S. security assistance to Ukraine to approximately $3.8 billion in arms and equipment since Russia launched its brutal and unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24." Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in his statement.

The new security assistance package follows the White House's $33 billion proposal last week to Congress to support Ukraine amid Russia's invasion. The proposed package last week was more than twice as much as the $13.6 billion infusion of military and humanitarian aid that Congress approved last month.

For Ukraine to succeed in this next phase of war "its international partners, including the U.S., must continue to demonstrate our unity and our resolve to keep the weapons and ammunition flowing to Ukraine, without interruption." Biden noted.  "Congress should quickly provide the requested funding to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table."

On Monday, May 9th, will sign the "Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act", the White House said.

Biden and allies are also preparing for the G7 virtual leaders meeting this Sunday chaired by German Chancellor Scholz. The leaders will be joined by President Zelenskyy of Ukraine.

"They will discuss the latest developments in Russia's war against Ukraine, the global impact of Putin's war, showing support for Ukraine and Ukraine's future, and demonstrating continued G7 unity and our collective response, including building on our unprecedented sanctions to impose severe costs for Putin's war" the White House said.

The meeting will take place Sunday morning, Washington time, and Biden will participate in it from Wilmington, Delaware.

Alex Raufoglu

Washington D.C.


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