(NewsNation) — Following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech to Congress Wednesday morning, President Joe Biden announced $800 million in new aid for Ukraine, bringing the total amount given to the country to $1 billion.
Money is being put aside for the more than 3 million people fleeing Ukraine in the wake of the Russian attacks on the country as well— $186 million.
“This is a struggle that pits the appetites of an autocrat against humankind’s desire to be free,” Biden said. “And let there be no doubt, no uncertainty, no question: America stands with the forces of freedom. We always have, we always will.”
The new package includes:
- 800 anti-aircraft systems
- 9,000 anti-armor systems, including high-accuracy shoulder-mounted missiles
- 7,000 small-arm machine guns, shotguns and grenade launchers
- 20 million rounds of ammunition
“Together with our allies and partners, we will keep up the pressure on (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s crumbling economy, isolating him on the global stage,” Biden said during his address Wednesday. “That’s our goal: make Putin pay the price, weaken his position while strengthening the hand of Ukrainians on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”
The U.S. is also sending Javelins and Stingers, which Ukraine has requested. The money comes from more than $13 billion in funding Congress passed and Biden signed Tuesday for Ukraine.
“With billions more included in this bill for new humanitarian assistance, we’re going to be able to quickly ramp up our response and help alleviate the suffering that Putin’s war is causing the Ukrainian people in the region,” Biden said.
Earlier Wednesday, Zelenskyy pleaded with U.S. leaders to create a no-fly zone or send American aircraft to fight the Russians.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul, R-Texas, compared the war to Nazi Germany. Video footage of Ukraine that was played during Zelenskyy’s speech showed images of war that McCaul said he never thought he would see in his lifetime.
“History will judge us. What did you do when the bombing started? What did you do when the maternity hospitals were bombed and the pregnant women were taken out. Blood. Children. What did you do?” McCaul said after Zelenskyy’s address Wednesday. “History will judge us if we don’t act now and we don’t act strongly.”
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy echoed sentiments that the U.S. is united in helping Ukraine get the weaponry it needs to defend itself.
“We watched a leader stand in a capitol that is being bombed, not requesting that American men and women go into war, just simply help us provide weapons so that we can defend ourselves … ” McCarthy said. “We should stand with anyone that is willing to defend freedom against the atrocities that Putin is doing.”
Next week, Biden’s going to Europe on his first trip back to the continent since his summer summit in Geneva with Putin. There, he will meet face-to-face with his European counterparts to assess the war.