- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 13, 2022

President Biden on Wednesday pledged to provide more than $800 million in weapons, ammunition and other security aid to Ukraine.

Mr. Biden announced the new assistance in a nearly 50-minute phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnkyy.

“This new package of assistance will contain many of the highly effective weapons systems we have already provided and new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine,” Mr. Biden said in a statement after the call. 

The package of arms included artillery systems, artillery rounds, armored personnel carriers and helicopters, the president said.

So far, the U.S. has provided more than $2.4 billion in military assistance to Ukraine.

Mr. Biden’s call with Mr. Zelenskyy occurred just hours after the Ukraine leader issued a new plea for weaponry to beat back the Russian invasion, which is entering its eighth week.

SEE ALSO: Zelenskyy praises Biden for labeling Russian actions as genocide

In a video posted on Twitter, Mr. Zelesnkyy urged Western countries for military support.

“We have destroyed more Russian weapons and military equipment than some armies in Europe currently possess. But this is not enough,” Mr. Zelenskyy said, ticking off a list of weaponry that his country needs, such as armored vehicles, armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, tanks and air defense systems.

Mr. Biden’s call with Mr. Zelenskyy is the first time the two have talked since the U.S. president on Tuesday labeled Russia’s attacks on Ukraine a “genocide.”

The surprising characterization marks a significant shift in U.S. rhetoric towards Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Mr. Biden had refrained from using the word genocide and instead used the term “war crimes.”

“True words of a true leader @POTUS,” Mr. Zelesnkyy said on Twitter. “Calling things by their names is essential to stand up to evil. We are grateful for US assistance provided so far and we urgently need more heavy weapons to prevent further Russian atrocities.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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