April 21, 2024

Biden announces millions more taxpayer dollars to assist Ukraine during surprise trip to Kyiv

President Biden announced during his surprise trip to Ukraine Monday that the U.S. would be providing nearly $500 million in additional security assistance to the country amid its ongoing war with Russia.

The package includes additional rocket system ammunition, mortar and artillery rounds, radar equipment, anti-armor weaponry, four Bradley fighting vehicles, two tactical vehicles for equipment recovery, Claymore anti-personnel mines, demolition munitions, night vision equipment, communications equipment, medical supplies, spare parts and other field equipment.Β 

According to the Department of Defense, the package is valued at up to $460 million, and will be the Biden administration’s 32nd drawdown of equipment from DOD inventories for Ukraine.

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Biden’s surprise trip to Ukraine sparked widespread criticism that he would visit the country before making a trip to the town of East Palestine, Ohio, which was rocked by a devastating train derailment earlier this month and has upended the lives of those Ohioans living in the area.

That comes in addition to the criticism he’s already faced for providing what some have called a “blank-check” to Ukraine, arguing there was no verification system in place to ensure equipment and money were being used properly, and accusing the administration of putting the U.S. on the verge of war with Russia.

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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called Biden’s approach to funding Ukraine “unacceptable,” and told “Fox & Friends” after the news of Biden’s trip broke that he opposed the policy because there was “no clear, strategic objective identified” in the administration’s funding of Ukraine. He added that it wasn’t in America’s best interest to be “getting into a proxy war with China, getting involved over things like the borderlands or over Crimea.”

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 of last year, but initially failed to capture Kyiv before refocusing its operations on the Donbas region, as well as the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.Β 

The one-year mark of the invasion, which has claimed thousands of lives on both sides, is on Friday.

According to the Ukrainian government, the U.S. leads all countries with $196 billion in total military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine between Jan. 24, 2022 through Nov. 20, 2022. Germany has sent the second-most funds, with $172 billion sent in that span.

Fox News’ Liz Friden contributed to this report.

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