Biden sending more anti-aircraft systems, drones to Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers a virtual address to Congress by video at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2022. (Sarah Silbiger, Pool via AP)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy summoned the memory of Pearl Harbor and the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in appealing Wednesday to the U.S. Congress to do more to help Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

President Joe Biden said the U.S. is sending more anti-aircraft, anti-armor weapons and drones.

Zelenskyy, live-streamed to a rapt audience of lawmakers on a giant screen, acknowledged the no-fly zone he has sought to “close the sky” to airstrikes on his country may not happen.

Biden has resisted that, as well as approval for the U.S. or NATO to send MiG fighter jets from Poland.

Instead, Zelenskyy pleaded for other military aid to stop the Russian assault.

Biden, describing help he was already prepared to announce, said the U.S. will be sending an additional $800 million in military assistance, making a total of $2 billion in such aid sent to Kyiv since he took office more than a year ago.

About $1 billion in aid has been sent in the past week. Biden said the new assistance includes 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 100 grenade launchers, 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition and grenade launchers and mortar rounds and an unspecified number of drones.

Biden spoke hours after Zelenskyy delivered a video address to members of U.S. Congress in which he made an impassioned plea for the U.S. and West to provide more help to save his young democracy than world leaders have so far pledged to provide.

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