The US government is once again spending large sums of money to provide Ukraine with weapons and economic aid. US President Joe Biden announced today in the White House that the US would provide Ukraine with up to $ 800 million in additional weapons and ammunition. Support will be sent “directly to the forefront of freedom”. US ports will be closed to Russian ships.
In addition, an additional $ 500 million (about € 460 million) is expected to flow into economic aid, Biden announced. Even after that, the steady supply of arms and money to Kiev should be maintained. According to Biden, the new package should help fend off the great Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine. “This pack contains heavy artillery weapons, dozens of howitzers, and 144,000 ammo for these howitzers.” Tactical drones are also included. In view of the dreaded Russian offensive in Donbas, Biden spoke of a “critical time window” in which the “course for the next phase of this war” would be set.
Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin “will never be able to dominate and occupy all of Ukraine”. Referring to Russian reports on the capture of the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, she said it is “questionable whether he (Putin) controls Mariupol”. “There is still no evidence that Mariupol has fallen completely.”
As part of the policy of sanctions against Russia, the president also announced a ban on Russian ships from docking in US ports, “just as they did in Europe”. This means that no Russian-flagged vessel operated or owned by a Russian company can enter US ports.
Kiev: Russia plans “Kherson People’s Republic”
According to Kiev, Russia is preparing a referendum on the establishment of a “Kherson People’s Republic”. The Russian leadership would thus follow suit in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. In May 2014, referendums on independence were held in the Donbass areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists. There was also a referendum in 2014 on the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia and borders Kherson, in which the majority of the population of Russian origin came out in favor of joining Russia. This too has not been recognized internationally.
Russia declares control of Mariupol
Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin, reported on the capture of Mariupol. However, there are still more than 2,000 soldiers in the Azov-Stahl steel plant and 1,478 Ukrainian fighters have surrendered. Putin gave the order to stop storming the Azov-Steel industrial zone. According to Putin, however, the facility should be blocked in such a way that not even a fly can pass without being detected.
“Exchange of rings” for weapons
With developments in Mariupol, pressure is mounting on Germany to supply heavy weapons for the defense of Ukraine. The Berlin government is preparing a “ring swap” for the delivery of additional weapons: NATO partner Slovenia will deliver a large number of its old tanks to Ukraine and will receive the Marder infantry fighting vehicle and armored vehicle from Germany. Fuchs wheels in exchange.
Debate: How is war changing the world?
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been at war in Ukraine for several weeks and there is no end in sight. Solidarity with Ukraine brings Europe and the US together. Will solidarity last within the EU? Does Austria have to decide between neutrality and NATO in the long term? And will China side with Russia?
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