Biden calls for an additional $33 billion in Ukraine aid

Russia has sought to turn the tide by blaming Ukraine and its allies for widening the war, citing the alleged secret Polish-American plan to control western Ukraine and recent attacks on targets inside Russia. Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, urged Kyiv and Western capitals to take seriously Russia’s statements “that further calls for Ukraine to strike Russian facilities would certainly result in a harsh response from Russia”.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Mr Zelensky, said Ukraine had the right to strike Russian military installations and “will defend itself in any way”. UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also said Ukraine would be justified in using Western weapons to attack military targets inside Russia, as he warned the war could turn into a “slow frozen occupation, like some kind of cancerous growth in Ukraine”. .”

Speaking at the White House, Mr Biden rejected Russian suggestions that the United States was waging a proxy war against Moscow. “It shows the desperation Russia feels over its dismal failure to be able to do what it set out to do in the first place,” Biden said.

He also condemned Russian officials raising the specter of nuclear war. “No one should make unnecessary comments about the use of nuclear weapons or the possibility that they might use them,” Biden said. “It’s irresponsible.”

The massive aid package Mr. Biden unveiled on Thursday would dwarf all US spending so far on the war. There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for more aid, but it’s unclear whether the issue can be linked to negotiations on ancillary issues such as pandemic aid or immigration.

The request, more than double the size of the $13.6 billion package approved by lawmakers and signed by Mr Biden last month, was expected to last until the end of September, underscoring expectations of a protracted dispute.

It includes more than $20 billion for security and military assistance, including $11.4 billion to fund equipment and replenish stocks already provided to Ukraine, $2.6 billion to support deployment US troops and equipment in the region to protect NATO allies and $1.9 billion for cybersecurity and intelligence support.

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