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Biden: 'We're not withdrawing' support for Ukraine

by Abbey Fenbert October 20, 2023 4:05 AM 3 min read
U.S. President Joe Biden making a live address from the White House on Oct. 19, 2023. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

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In a national address from the White House on Oct. 19, United States President Joe Biden said he was going to send Congress an "urgent" funding request for aid to Ukraine and Israel on Oct. 20.

Biden did not specify the dollar amount of the request, but said it represented an "unprecedented commitment to Israel's security" and would allow transfers of weapons to Ukraine to continue without interruption.

Reuters earlier reported that the White House package would entail $60 billion in funds for Ukraine and $10 billion for Israel.

Biden dismissed Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's claims that Ukraine wouldn't survive a week without Western military aid.

"We're not withdrawing," Biden said.

In his address, Biden made the case that supporting Ukraine was a "smart investment." He said maintaining military aid to Ukraine was vital for both U.S. security and global stability.

"If we don't stop Putin's appetite for power and control in Ukraine, he won't limit himself just to Ukraine," he said.

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War Notes

Biden mentioned threatening remarks made by Putin and other Russian officials toward NATO states, including Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. He reiterated that the U.S. does not want its troops fighting against Russia, but pledged to abide by NATO security agreements.

"If Putin attacks a NATO ally, we will defend every inch of NATO which our treaty requires and calls for," Biden said.  

He also warned that a Russian victory in Ukraine could have ramifications beyond Europe.

"If we walk away and let Putin erase Ukraine's independence, would-be aggressors around the world would be emboldened to try the same," he said.  

Biden's speech also focused on the ongoing Israel-Gaza war. The U.S. president strongly condemned the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, which killed over 1,400 people.

He also said the U.S. "remains committed to the Palestinian people's right to dignity and to self-determination," and announced he had reached an agreement with the Israeli government on Oct. 18 to allow a shipment of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Biden's speech framed the wars in Israel and Ukraine as equally vital to U.S. national interests. He said the attacks on Israel bore "echoes" of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and urged congressional officials not to let "petty partisan, angry politics" get in the way of providing urgent security funds.

"We've not forgotten the mass graves, the bodies found bearing signs of torture, rape used as a weapon by the Russians, and thousands and thousands of Ukrainian children forcibly taken into Russia, stolen from their parents," he said.  

Biden commended the bravery of Ukrainian people, and praised Ukrainian troops for successfully liberating over half of the territory occupied by Russian forces since the beginning of the all-out invasion.

"Putin has failed, and continues to fail. Kyiv still stands."  

The writing is on the wall: Ukrainian archivists collect Russian graffiti as evidence of war crimes
“It is not considered a war crime if you had fun,” reads graffiti left by Russian soldiers in the backroom of a bar in the village of Velyka Komyshuvakha, located in the Izium district of Kharkiv Oblast. Before being liberated, the area was occupied by Russian forces for six months

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