Biden urges Congress to pass additional aid following Russia’s aerial assault on Ukraine


(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden on Friday condemned Russia for launching its “largest aerial assault on Ukraine” since the start of the war, warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin “must be stopped,” and used the attacks to implore Congress to pass additional aid for Ukraine.

“Strikes reportedly hit a maternity hospital, a shopping mall, and residential areas — killing innocent people and injuring dozens more. It is a stark reminder to the world that, after nearly two years of this devastating war, Putin’s objective remains unchanged. He seeks to obliterate Ukraine and subjugate its people. He must be stopped,” Biden said in a written statement following the attack.

Russia launched 122 missiles and dozens of drones against Ukrainian targets in an onslaught that killed at least 30 civilians across the country, officials said Friday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed following the attacks that his country would “surely respond to terrorist strikes” and that “Russian terror must and will lose.”

Biden said that Ukraine was able to deploy their air defense systems to intercept some of the missiles, thanks to support from America and other allies, but warned that the help from the United States has run out, once again calling on Congress to pass supplemental aid for Ukraine in the new year, after they failed to pass to take action earlier this month.

“The American people can be proud of the lives we have helped to save and the support we have given Ukraine as it defends its people, its freedom, and its independence. But unless Congress takes urgent action in the new year, we will not be able to continue sending the weapons and vital air defense systems Ukraine needs to protect its people. Congress must step up and act without any further delay,” he added.

Senate negotiations on Ukraine aid tied to aid for Israel and border security continued Friday with no sign of any imminent deal.

Biden warned that the stakes of the fight in Ukraine will reverberate beyond its borders and “affect the entirety of the NATO Alliance, the security of Europe, and the future of the Transatlantic relationship.” He also warned it increases the risk of pulling the US into the fight directly.

“We cannot let our allies and partners down. We cannot let Ukraine down. History will judge harshly those who fail to answer freedom’s call,” Biden added.

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