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The United States approved “Patriot missiles” to Ukraine as well as a new $45 billion in aid

Ukrainian servicemen held a funeral for Sergei Klimenko, a fighter who died during the shelling of the Kharkiv front by Russian troops a few days ago. (23 December 2022)
Ukrainian servicemen held a funeral for Sergei Klimenko, a fighter who died during the shelling of the Kharkiv front by Russian troops a few days ago. (23 December 2022)

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $45 billion aid package to Ukraine on Friday (December 23). It’s part of a $1.66 trillion federal spending bill. The Senate passed the bill a day ago. The bill will then be sent to U.S. President Joe Biden to sign into law. This follows the U.S. aid to Ukraine worth about $50 billion this year.

The bill comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a wartime visit to Washington on Wednesday, ahead of Congress passing the bill.

Zelensky returned to Kiev stubbornly saying that while Russia is constantly launching artillery, rocket, and mortar attacks on Ukraine, Ukrainian forces are “trying to win.”

Zelensky vowed on the Telegram platform: “We will overcome everything.” He added: “We brought back from Washington … Something that would really help.

The United States promised to provide Patriot missiles to help Ukraine fight the Russian invasion. Zelensky has long demanded “patriots” to help defend against Russian airstrikes. During the 10-month conflict, Russian airstrikes destroyed towns and villages, and in the past three months disrupted water and electricity supplies across Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged them at the meeting of Ukrainian ambassadors abroad on the 23rd to work hard and effectively communicate with countries around the world. He also said that the visit to the United States was fruitful and fruitful, and important strategic agreements were reached. The United States announced new $1.8 billion worth of military aid to Ukraine, including the Patriot air defense system. 

Zelensky also thanked US President Joe Biden and the US Congress for supporting Ukraine against Russia.

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However, U.S. officials said that Biden’s promise to equip a company of Patriot missile systems would not change the course of the war.

Washington and its allies have been reluctant to provide Kiev with modern main battle tanks and the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), long-range missiles that can reach targets far from the front line and on Russian soil.

Both Kiev and Biden administrations fear that congressional support for Ukraine could be complicated once Republicans take over the House of Representatives by a slim majority in the new year: a handful of right-wing Republican lawmakers oppose aid to Ukraine, and others call for greater budget oversight.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the military-industrial complex Tula on Friday asked Russian defense industry chiefs to do more to ensure that the Russian military can quickly receive all the weapons and equipment necessary to fight in Ukraine.

“The most important key task of our military-industrial complex is to provide our troops and front-line armed forces with everything they need: weapons, equipment, ammunition, and appliances, in the necessary quantity and good quality, within the shortest possible time frame,” he said. ”

Britain’s Defense Ministry said Friday in its intelligence update on Ukraine that Putin “listened to plans to expand the Russian military by about 30 percent to 1.5 million people.”

The proposal was made Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said, “Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu explained that the expansion would involve expanding at least two brigades in northwestern Russia into divisional forces.”

The British Ministry of Defence said the reason for the expansion was “the alleged threat from Finland and Sweden joining NATO.”

“This constitutes one of the earliest opportunities for insight into how Russia wants to adjust its forces to the long-term strategic challenges posed by its invasion of Ukraine,” said the Ministry of Defence’s intelligence update. “What remains unclear is how Russia will recruit new soldiers to complete its expansion at a time when the Russian army is under unprecedented pressure in Ukraine.”

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Comments on Zelensky’s trip to Washington In Western Europe, Zelensky’s trip to Washington is seen as symbolic, which is a message to the world that the United States will continue to support Ukraine in the fierce fight for its own survival.

Observers in the region say it is reassuring that Biden pointed to the need to “maintain NATO unity” when talking about arms supplies.

Lukasz Adamski, a Polish historian at the Mieroszewski Center in Warsaw, told the media: “This strongly suggests that not the United States, but other influential NATO countries, are not convinced of the need to support Ukraine more intensively.”

However, Putin said that Zelensky’s trip to Washington will only fuel the conflict.

“They said they might send the Patriots there, well, we’ll beat the Patriots to the” Putin told reporters. Transporting the system, he said, “will only drag the conflict on.”

In Ukraine, Zelensky’s trip to Washington symbolized that relations between the two countries have endured the tempering of war.

Mykola Davydiuk, a political analyst and director of Think Tank Politics, told the media that it is important for Ukrainians and Zelensky to show the United States that the Ukrainian people are grateful for the unwavering support the United States has shown.

Putin said that he was not opposed to negotiations, and the United States quickly refuted it

While Putin’s assessment is that sending a company of Patriot missile systems by the United States will prolong the conflict, he said Russia is ready to negotiate with Ukraine to end the conflict.

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“One way or another, all armed conflicts end with talks,” Putin said. “The sooner those who oppose us understand, the better. We never ruled out talks.

He added: “We will try to put it to an end, of course, the sooner the better.” The

White House was quick to refute Putin’s remarks.

John Kirby, the White House National Security Council’s strategic communications coordinator, said Putin was “showing absolutely zero signs in terms of his willingness to negotiate.” Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

According to Reuters, Bryant told reporters: “Everything he does on the ground and in the air shows that this is a man who wants to continue the violence against the Ukrainian people and wants to escalate the war.”

Mr. Bryant also said Thursday that U.S. intelligence agents had determined that North Korea last month completed the first deliveries of weapons, including rockets and missiles, to Russia’s private military company, the Wagner Group. This action shows that the group is expanding its role in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

The British government also condemned the deliveries.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group, said North Korea was not trying to supply weapons to Russia at all, calling the claims “gossip and speculation.”

The Russian mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment. North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the information, calling it baseless.

(This article draws on reports from the Associated Press and Reuters.)

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