The United States is sending Ukraine another $350 million in lethal defensive assistance to counter Russian planes and armor attacking them.
“Today, as Ukraine fights with courage and pride against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked assault, I have authorized, pursuant to a delegation by the President, an unprecedented third Presidential Drawdown of up to $350 million for immediate support to Ukraine’s defense,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. That package reportedly includes Javelin anti-armor missiles, ammunition and body armor.
The country has been besieged by a Russian invasion that began Thursday and attacked Ukraine by land, air and sea. The invading army is reportedly frustrated by the level of resistance from the under-manned and under-armed Ukrainians. Three days after launching their initial attacks they are still about 20 miles from the capitol city of Kyiv, according to a USA Today reprot.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denied for months that the buildup to almost 200,000 troops in areas adjacent to Ukraine would be used to attack the former Soviet Republic. He repeatedly said his forces were conducting military exercises, which he was free to do at any time and place he chose in his own country. When tank divisions deployed to Belarus, Putin insisted they were in the non-NATO country to conduct joint exercises and there was no reason for Ukraine — or the world — to be alarmed.
The number of Russian troops in Ukraine has reportedly increased from approximately 30 percent Friday to about 50 percent Saturday. Yet, except for some advance toops believed to be special operations platoons, the invaders have not been able to enter Kyiv.
Other countries have contributed arms and defensive support to the beleagured country from steel helmets from Germany to air defense systems from NATO.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was offered help evacuating by the United States but reportedly refused, saying he needed anti-tank ammunition more than he needed a ride.
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