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16 June, 2024
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Biden: Playing into Putin's hands on Ukraine aid threat

Biden announces $200M amid GOP resistance


In a bold statement, President Joe Biden minced no words as he warned Republicans about unwittingly aiding Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As The Guardian reports, the warning came amidst a crucial debate over military aid to Ukraine.

At a joint press conference with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Washington, Biden pointed out celebrations in Moscow following the Republican vote against Ukraine's aid. Quoting a Kremlin-run show host, Biden highlighted the troubling sentiment: "Well-done Republicans, that's good for us."

The President emphasized the need for reflection, stating, "If you're being celebrated by Russian propagandists, it might be time to rethink what you are doing." He added a harsh judgment, saying, "History will judge harshly those who turned their back on freedom's cause."

Zelenskiy faced challenges earlier on Capitol Hill, attempting to persuade Republicans to support a $61 billion military aid package. Some Republicans insisted on White House concessions on border security as a condition for a deal.

Despite the hurdles, Biden announced an additional $200 million military aid package, expressing commitment to Ukraine. He condemned the Republican negotiating tactic, asserting, "Putin is banking on the United States failing to deliver for Ukraine."

The move by Senate Republicans last week to block an emergency aid package for Ukraine and Israel escalated tensions. The primary concern was the exclusion of immigration policy changes demanded by conservatives.

Zelenskiy, on his third visit to Washington since the war broke out, expressed encouragement after meetings with Congress members. However, challenges remained, with Republicans pushing for immigration policy changes in exchange for supporting the aid package.

Senate Republicans' objections centered on concerns about corruption and the need for air defense systems in Ukraine's counteroffensives. Democrats, frustrated with the lack of progress, highlighted the impact of the gridlock on military aid to Ukraine.

As negotiations continue, President Zelenskiy seeks assurance amid a looming break in Congress. The urgency increases as available funds for Ukraine are running short, and Moscow closely watches the developments.

The situation is complex, with Biden's administration facing criticism for seeking substantial funding without clear oversight and strategy. The upcoming break in Congress raises questions about the timeline for passing a funding package, adding pressure to find a resolution in the new year.

Meanwhile, the war's toll on Russia is revealed in newly declassified US intelligence, estimating 315,000 dead and injured troops, nearly 90% of its pre-war personnel.

In a disturbing turn, Ukraine experiences a major cyberattack on its largest mobile phone network, Kyivstar. The attack, described as the largest in the war with Russia, raises questions about responsibility, with Ukrainian intelligence investigating potential involvement by Russia's intelligence agencies. The attack's destructive nature adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing conflict.

As the year comes to a close, the fate of Ukraine's military aid hangs in the balance, with geopolitical tensions and cyber threats adding to the challenges faced by both nations.

[With information sourced from The Guardian]

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