Sharjah24 – AFP: US President Joe Biden announced $1 billion worth of new arms for Ukraine Wednesday as Pentagon officials defended the pace and quality of supplies as meeting Kyiv's battlefield needs.
Ukrainian troops shelled Russian targets on the frontlines in the eastern Donbas region with newly arrived French Caesar howitzers, as Ukraine officials met in Brussels with Western allies, hoping to obtain more ammunition and more lethal weapons to turn the tables on the invaders.
Russian forces continued to pressure Kyiv's troops in Donbas, as Russian President Vladimir Putin held new phone discussions with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, in which Xi expressed support for Russia's "sovereignty and security."
The newest US arms package features 18 more 155mm howitzers and 36,000 rounds of ammunition for them; two land-based Harpoon anti-ship missile systems; and additional rockets for four Himars precision rocket artillery systems that Ukraine is soon to put in the field.
Biden said that he told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call Wednesday that "the United States will stand by Ukraine as it defends its democracy and support its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unprovoked Russian aggression."
"The bravery, resilience, and determination of the Ukrainian people continues to inspire the world," Biden said.
Zelensky said later in his evening address to the people of Ukraine that he was grateful for the package.
"The United States announced new strengthening of our defence, a new $1 billion support package," Zelensky said. "I am grateful for this support, it is especially important for our defence in Donbas."