Американці заплатять кров’ю, якщо США припинять підтримку України – Кірбі

Американці заплатять кров’ю, якщо США припинять підтримку України – Кірбі

«Президент Росії розраховував на такий розвиток подій з самого початку цієї війни, оскільки не вірив у збереження єдності Заходу і НАТО, а також достатню силу США»

США заблокували вимогу Радбезу ООН про гуманітарне припинення вогню в Газі

«Ми не підтримуємо заклик цієї резолюції до нестійкого припинення вогню, який лише покладе початок наступній війні», – сказав заступник посла США в ООН

«Це не змиє кров на їхніх руках» – глави МЗС Литви та Естонії засудили рішення МОК щодо російських спортсменів

Раніше міністр закордонних справ України Дмитро Кулеба закликав усіх партнерів рішуче засудити рішення МОК

Ukraine’s Energy Infrastructure Crumbling Under Russian Attacks

Russian airstrikes, shelling and bad weather have damaged Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, leaving 500 settlements in intermittent energy blackouts.

Ukraine’s grid operator Ukrenergo reported that energy consumption hovered near record highs on Friday, straining the already fragile power grid.

For a second winter, Russia is targeting the country’s electric infrastructure, sending dozens of drones on an almost nightly basis to hit power-generating facilities and distribution networks across the country.

Ukrenergo said a thermal power plant in the east had again been damaged by systematic and prolonged shelling, and elsewhere a power facility had been shut down for emergency repairs.

Meanwhile Ukrenergo urged residents to economize on the use of electricity in the face of continued Russian attacks.

“This morning Ukrenergo again recorded a high level of consumption, which is almost equal to yesterday’s record,” the grid operator said in a statement, adding that consumption was at its highest levels so far this heating season.

Ukraine, an energy exporter before Russia’s invasion in February 2022, has been forced to turn to emergency power imports from neighboring Romania and Poland this week to meet demand, Ukrenergo said.

“The power system remains in a difficult situation. For now, there is no free capacity at power plants,” it said.

EU aid debate

The European Union will find ways to provide financial aid to Ukraine despite Hungary’s threat to veto EU assistance, a senior official said Friday. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has threatened to block the EU’s 50-billion-euro ($53 billion) budget proposal to assist Kyiv through 2027.

A senior EU official who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said if Hungary does veto the aid package, the EU could allocate a smaller amount of money to Ukraine for a shorter time, or the other 26 EU countries could extend their national contributions bilaterally to Kyiv.

“We know how existential it is. European leaders are responsible people — at least 26,” said the official, who is involved in an EU summit scheduled for next week.

Ukraine depends on economic aid from the West to keep its defensive war against Russia going.

A senior EU diplomat, also speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, expressed hope that a compromise might be reached like last year when Orban objected to the EU’s $18 billion financial package aid to Ukraine but ultimately approved it after securing concessions from the EU for his country.

Hungary is also planning on blocking EU membership talks for Ukraine at next week’s summit.

The EU is due to consider a legal proposal on Tuesday allowing the use of sanctioned Russian frozen assets to help Ukraine. However, EU officials say Ukraine might not see the money any time soon because EU members are bickering over the amounts pledged for Ukraine.

The EU executive says some 28 billion euros worth of private Russian assets and a further 207 billion euros of the Russian central bank’s funds have been confiscated.

Some 125 billion euros of the latter sum is held by Belgian company Euroclear. Belgium estimated it would collect 2.3 billion euros in taxes on that in 2023-24. It said it would use those proceeds for Ukraine.

Putin presidency 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Friday his candidacy in the presidential election next March, after a Kremlin award ceremony during which war veterans and others pleaded with him to seek reelection in what Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called “spontaneous” remarks.

Putin, who was handed the presidency by Boris Yeltsin on the last day of 1999, has already served as president for longer than any other ruler of Russia since Josef Stalin.

For Putin, 71, the election is a formality: With the support of the state, the state-run media and almost no mainstream public dissent, he is certain to win. He has no discernible successor.

About 80% of Russians approve of Putin’s performance, according to the independent pollster Levada Center. But it is not clear if that support is genuine or the result of Putin’s oppressive regime, which cracks down on any opposition.

Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

German Foreign Minister Discusses Prisoners With Iranian Counterpart

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock discussed the fate of Germans held in Iran Friday with her Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian, her ministry said. 

The two ministers held a telephone call with a “particular focus… on German consular cases,” the ministry wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

Jamshid Sharmahd, a German citizen of Iranian descent, was abducted in late July 2020 by the Iranian authorities and sentenced earlier this year to be hanged for “corruption on earth.” 

Iran’s Supreme Court in April confirmed the death penalty. 

German-Iranian Nahid Taghavi, in her late 60s, was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in jail in August 2021 after being arrested at her Tehran apartment in October 2020.  

Taghavi was convicted on national security charges. 

Germany came under pressure over its Iran policy last week after a prominent women’s rights campaigner stormed out of a government meeting and accused officials of helping Tehran “silence dissidents.” 

Iranian-American activist Masih Alinejad said she had walked out of the meeting at the German foreign ministry after she was told the talks had to be “kept secret.” 

Sharmahd’s daughter, Gazelle Sharmahd, wrote a post on X in support of Alinejad. 

The families of German prisoners in Iran have been told by the German government for three years that “talks behind closed doors are better because publicity endangers the hostages,” she wrote. 

“But what has this public silence and confidential dialogue brought us?” 

A spokesperson for the foreign ministry responded that Germany’s “stance toward the Iranian regime is very clear and we condemn where it violates human rights.” 

Baerbock and Amirabdollahian on Friday also discussed “their different perspectives on regional issues,” the foreign ministry said. 

Baerbock “called on Iran to contribute to de-escalation,” it added. 

Росія: соратники Навального кажуть, що не можуть із ним зв’язатися вже три дні

За останніми даними, які мають соратники опозиціонера, Навальному стало зле в камері, йому поставили крапельницю

Парламент Болгарії підтримав додаткову військову допомогу для України і подолав вето щодо поставок БТР

Міністр оборони Тодор Тагарев наголосив, що рішення про допомогу Україні відповідає інтересам Болгарії і всього світу

Central Asian Trade Corridor Gains Interest Amid Regional Tensions

The emergence of a Middle Corridor — a transit network linking Asia with European markets by way of Central Asia, the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus — is rapidly gaining momentum as an alternative to Russia-controlled routes.

While the Trans-Caspian routes, also sometimes referred to as the China-Central Asia-West Asia Corridor, have come into their own over the past 30 years, Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine has prompted a significant increase in traffic over the routes.

Gaidar Abdikerimov, who heads the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) association, reports that his network now comprises 25 transport and logistics companies including ports, vessels, railways and terminals. Its members also include 11 countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, China and Singapore.

“This all means that there is a high interest in our route,” Abdikerimov said in a recent forum at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (CACI) in Washington. He told the audience that over the past 10 months, more than 2.256 million tons of cargo have been transported over the route.

Abdikerimov’s office is based in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The oil-rich republic stretches from China’s northwestern frontier to the Caspian Sea, where cargo can be offloaded onto ships and carried to Azerbaijan in the Caucasus.

“We have decreased the estimated delivery time of transit container trains from 38 days to 19 days,” he said.

The World Bank stressed the “catalyzing potential” of the Middle Corridor in a November 27 report that focused on its beneficial impact on Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia – Azerbaijan’s western neighbor providing access to the Black Sea.

“There was indeed a spike in the volume of traffic in 2022,” said Charles Kunaka, a lead transport specialist at the World Bank. “We see the Middle Corridor as adding to the resilience of the transport networks across the region, and especially connectivity between Europe, Central Asia, and East Asia.”

The World Bank foresees two major types of commerce flowing through the Middle Corridor, the first being trade between China and Europe.

“We see this type of trade as being relatively elastic. And we saw this in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, that most of this trade initially switched to the Middle Corridor,” Kunaka said in a presentation to the CACI forum.

“But after some time, because of the constraints that still affect the performance of the Middle Corridor, we see some of this trade switching to maritime transport, for instance.”

The second flow is within the region itself, which the World Bank sees as a “more solid foundation for the development of the Middle Corridor.” Much of the traffic in this category involves fertilizers, minerals and grains.

Kunaka underscored the importance of collaboration among governments, the private sector, development banks and other relevant institutions if the route is to overcome several obstacles to its continued growth, including logistical and bureaucratic bottlenecks.

Grievances expressed by stakeholders in the project include high costs, unreliability, bottlenecks, poor service quality and a lack of transparency and traceability, he said.

Digitalization and the use of electronic documents by both the railways and on the Caspian Sea would ease the process, Kanaka suggested.

“A combination of investments and efficiency measures can reduce travel times along the corridor by half and triple trade flows by 2030,” said the World Bank report. “A fully functioning corridor would help to shield China-Europe trade and supply chains from shocks.”

Abdikerimov agreed, stressing that the Trans-Caspian routes must also connect with the Black Sea ports.

“Speed, quality service, sustainability and safety. We are systematically going towards these goals,” he said at the CACI forum.

Brenda Shaffer of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, believes the World Bank study is an indication that “the Middle Corridor is increasingly of interest to multiple stakeholders.”

Speaking on the same virtual panel as Abdikerimov, Shaffer described an emerging alliance among Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, pointing to a growing convergence in the messaging of these countries’ diplomats in Washington and other capitals.

She thinks the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “created a security threat to the region, especially to those that border Russia, such as Kazakhstan.”

For Shaffer, Turkey is a unique player, steadily boosting its role in the Caspian region.

By backing Azerbaijan during its invasion to reconquer the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been under the de facto control of ethnic Armenians since the early 1990s, Ankara demonstrated “that cooperation with Turkey can have meaningful security benefits.”

She also expects Turkmenistan’s gas exports — currently directed mainly toward China — to shift westward.

“Increasing volumes of oil are going across the Caspian in various forms of small tankers,” she said, adding that all sides find it in their interests to increase those volumes significantly.

“Turkmenistan is dealing with potential demand destruction or lack of reliability of demand from China, surprisingly, for gas. As Russia increases its gas exports to China, they’re cheaper,” Shaffer said.

CACI’s Mamuka Tsereteli urges the U.S. government to focus on the value of increasing connectivity across the Black and Caspian seas through Central Asia and beyond.

“For Central and Eastern European states with a decades-long dependency on Russian resources in Russia-linked infrastructure, South Caucasus and Central Asia are major potential alternatives,” Tsereteli said.

Tsereteli hopes the United States and the EU will help in the development of the Middle Corridor, pointing out that Central Asia is also a large market for Western goods and services.

Kazakhstan’s Abdikerimov underlined that “Russia is definitely not fond of this Middle Corridor,” even though the goal has never been to avoid or exclude it. He said the Trans-Caspian transport network he oversees has always had its eyes on Turkey, North Africa and Southern Europe.

Kremlin Propaganda on Uptick in Latin America

Javier Vrox, the host of a political program on a YouTube channel in Chile who constantly monitors social networks in his country, recently noticed an uptick in pro-Russian political messaging, which had already been common in the country.

“They copy and paste the same messages on social media — that [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy is an actor, that he is a funny president; they copy those videos of Zelensky’s past TV series, making the point that he is an actor and a liar.”

According to Vrox, such reports aim to convince Chileans that Ukrainians only pretend to be victims of Russian aggression but are themselves a regional threat, and that NATO and the United States, by that logic, are its partners and equally hostile to Chile while Russia is a reliable ally.

“I think they’re doing a great job of tagging influencers, people from Twitter, now X, to share video messages and posts … to create the idea that if you’re a friend of the U.S., you’re an enemy to Chile,” said Vrox, who added that some posts referred to Ukrainian leaders as “Nazis,” even though Zelenskyy himself is Jewish.

These sentiments are not shared by Chilean President Gabriel Boric, who has publicly condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine and met with Zelenskyy in September 2023 during the U.N. General Assembly in New York to discuss a possible Ukraine-Latin America summit.

“Chileans don’t really support Ukraine; they think that Ukrainians are trying to manipulate the media to look like victims,” said Vrox. But “Boric supports Zelenskyy’s government, so a weird situation has developed.”

Well-funded network

James Rubin, the U.S. State Department’s Global Engagement Center special envoy and coordinator, agreed in an interview with VOA last month that Russia is “covertly co-opting local media and influencers to spread disinformation and propaganda” in Latin America.

In a public statement issued on November 7, the State Department said Russia “is currently financing an ongoing, well-funded disinformation campaign across Latin America,” spanning at least 13 countries, from Argentina and Chile in the south all the way to Mexico in the north.

“A cultivated group of editorial staff would be organized in a Latin American country, most likely in Chile, with several local individuals and representatives — journalists and public opinion leaders — of various countries in the region,” the statement said.

“A team in Russia would then create content and send the material to the editorial staff in Latin America for review, editing, and ultimately publication in local mass media.”

Christopher Hernandez-Roy of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, or CSIS, said Russia has a “legacy of propaganda” in the region going back to the Cold War.

Hernandez-Roy is a CSIS Americas Program deputy director and senior fellow.

The Soviets, he said, were “supporting revolutionary movements throughout the region, including military support in the case of Cuba, Nicaragua and other places, Central America in general, in the 70s and 80s.”

The annexation of Crimea in 2014, he said, became the starting point of a new wave of disinformation in the region.

“It’s around then that you start to see maybe an uptick in Russia’s influence or trying to influence narratives in the Western Hemisphere,” he told VOA. “In those three years — 2014, 2015 and 2016 — you start to see, for instance, ‘Russia Today’ coming online in Chile and Mexico, and I think in Argentina, as well.”

According to an October report by the United States Institute of Peace, Actualidad RT (Russia Today in Spanish) and Sputnik Mundo are the key purveyors of Russian state media in the region. Hernandez-Roy said these two media organizations have about 32 million regular listeners in Latin America, which has 667 million inhabitants.

“So, [even] 30 million is quite significant, and those are [merely] the overt ways,” he said. “Russia has a much more sophisticated apparatus than just simply its visible media outlets, [such as] using social media, sympathetic journalists, sympathetic influencers and Russian automated bots on social media. It can amplify its messages, which then are picked up by other sympathetic mechanisms.”

“We know [Actualidad RT] have offices in Havana, Buenos Aires and Caracas,” said Armando Daniel Armas, a Venezuelan opposition politician currently living in Europe. “We know that [Actualidad RT] have over 200 Spanish-speaking, let’s say, journalists working in Moscow … who allocate resources to find professional people, good people with content” to perpetuate Russian narratives on the ground in Latin American.

The object, according to U.S. officials, is to have Russian public relations and internet companies recruit and cultivate Latin American journalists, influencers and public opinion leaders to seed their publications and broadcasts with content favorable to Moscow while hiding any links to the Kremlin.

“They’ve been somewhat successful in using RT and Sputnik in Latin America,” Rubin told VOA in November. “The difference here is they’re trying to operate surreptitiously. They’re trying to create content in Russia and launder it through Latin American journalists. They are covertly co-opting local media and influencers to spread disinformation and propaganda.”

U.S. officials said it is unclear how many of the journalists and opinion leaders are aware they are being fed Russian disinformation, although a senior State Department official told VOA, “There are definitely some willing participants.”

Others involved in the network may be sympathetic to the Russian viewpoints but unaware that the directions are coming from Moscow.

Russia’s ultimate objective, said Hernandez-Roy, is to convince people in Latin America that Moscow is not the only one to blame — that there’s blame on both sides in a war caused by the U.S. and NATO.

“Essentially, what they’re trying to do is to make sure that the region is neutral,” said Hernandez-Roy. “We’re not talking about Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, which, of course, are completely on the Russian side.”

Soft diplomacy

Yuriy Polyukhovych, Ukraine’s ambassador to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, points to another asset utilized to influence opinions in Latin American that Moscow has used since Soviet times: its diplomatic corps.

“Russian ambassadors, Russian embassies here are a part of Russia’s propaganda machine,” he told VOA. “They’ve been doing their work for many years. These are not embassies of four or five persons. These embassies have 60, 70, 80 people each. Imagine what can be done with such a group of people! According to our information, some work for the intelligence service.”

At the same time, said Ukrainian Ambassador to Argentina Yuriy Klymenko, the Russian war against Ukraine at least somewhat undermined Russia’s standing in Latin America, presenting a diplomatic opportunity for the United States and its allies.

“From my experience, it is now considered bad manners to invite representatives of Russia to diplomatic or other public events,” he told VOA.

Yuriy Polyukhovych once called Latin America a region of “contact diplomacy,” emphasizing the need to work directly with local populations to counteract Russian influence. Hernandez-Roy suggested the U.S. project more soft power in the region.

“The U.S. used to project much more soft power decades ago than today,” he said. “Soft power means people-to-people exchanges, more high-level visits, cultural interchanges.”

Kyiv, he said, should allocate more resources to the region and conduct active diplomacy with high-level visits and ambassadors to counter Russian narratives.

This story originated in VOA’s Ukrainian Service. VOA National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed reporting.

МОК допустив російських і білоруських спортсменів до Олімпіади-2024 у нейтральному статусі

У заяві МОК йдеться про те, що вісім російських і троє білоруських спортсменів наразі відповідають вимогам і пройшли кваліфікацію на Ігри в Парижі наступного року

Rights Group Claims Company Intimidates Communities Along Tanzania-Uganda Oil Pipeline

The French oil company TotalEnergies coerces and intimidates communities affected by the $5 billion East African Crude Oil Pipeline project in Tanzania and Uganda, a human rights organization said this week.

Residents along the 1,443-kilometer (870-mile) pipeline route are forced to accept inadequate compensation for their land, according to Global Witness, a human rights and environmental organization.

Global Witness accused TotalEnergies of collaborating with Tanzanian and Ugandan authorities to suppress efforts by communities seeking accurate compensation for land taken for the oil pipeline.

The pipeline route stretches from Tanzania’s port city of Tanga to Lake Albert in Uganda.

TotalEnergies has denied the allegations.

Neither country has commented on the report, but previous criticism, including that from Human Rights Watch and court cases against the displacement and abuses, has not stopped or affected the project.

The Global Witness report

Hanna Hindstrom, a senior investigator in the Global Witness land and environmental defender campaign, told VOA that TotalEnergies is directly involved in human rights violations.

“We found evidence suggesting that TotalEnergies, through its subsidiary, its contractors and partners, has been party to intimidation and bullying of community members affected by the project,” Hindstrom said. “Many people we spoke to say they were pressured into accepting compensation for their land and their property that they felt was too low as a result of a climate of fear in both countries.”

She said the company benefits from the authoritarian political environment in Tanzania and Uganda in which environmental defenders find it “all but impossible to speak up against fossil fuel development.”

Global Witness said it spoke to activists, experts, journalists and more than 200 people affected by the multibillion-dollar project.

Farmer Jealousy Mugisha, 51, is one of many people who said they are losing their land to pave the way for the pipeline.

The father of seven told VOA he lost his land twice. First, in 2017, when more than a dozen hectares were taken for a processing plant used as an oil collection point. Then, in 2019, he lost 2½ hectares in the pipeline route.

He refused any compensation offered to him, saying it was not enough.

“Our target is not that we want to sabotage a government program or oil project program,” Mugisha said, “but … we need them to respect our rights. … [People’s] land was taken, and now they are suffering.”

He said, “We need to get fair compensation, adequate compensation and promotive compensation. That is the only thing we are claiming.”

Land use and compensation

According to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project, in the first phase of land acquisition, landowners could continue to use their land. The landowners said they were allowed to plant seasonal agricultural produce such as corn and sweet potatoes.

Further into the project, compensation to the evicted owners was calculated with a “disturbance allowance” and an increase to reflect the time elapsed since original surveys of the land, according to project documents.

Some landowners filed cases challenging the evictions and low compensation in a local court and a French court.

TotalEnergies has denied allegations they have intimidated anyone affected by the project. The oil firm says it has instituted numerous support mechanisms to ensure that those affected sign agreements only of their own free will.

The company also said it treats the people’s concerns with the utmost seriousness.

Harassment and intimidation reported

Maxwell Atuhura, head of Tasha Research Institute in Uganda and an environmental activist, said he came under attack for challenging the pipeline project.

“My field office was closed … and [I was] given two hours to leave the place, to leave my own district, my own area,” he said. “The security man working for an oil company is telling me that ‘I’m giving you a few hours to leave the district.’ Where do you want me to go?”

Atuhura said he also has been harassed.

“Since then, they started trailing me, and my phone is surveilled,” he said. “I started seeing the experience of my house being broken into.”

About 80% of the project will be in Tanzania, with the rest in Uganda. Global Witness said the oil pipeline, for which construction began this year after years of delay, will cut across wildlife habitats, protected areas and Indigenous land.

The pipeline project said that Tanzania and Uganda regulators have approved the environmental and societal impacts, and that the project seeks to avoid populated and environmentally sensitive areas.

Global Witness has called for an official investigation of the alleged rights abuses.

Орбан вкотре виступив проти вступу України до ЄС, але «готовий до компромісу в інших питаннях»

Угорщина системно блокує ухвалення на зустрічі лідерів Євросоюзу будь-яких пов’язаних із Україною рішень

Путін оголосив, що балотуватиметься на посаду президента РФ упʼяте

Також 8 грудня Центральна виборча комісія РФ оголосила, що президентські вибори триватимуть упродовж трьох днів – із 15 до 17 березня

Журналісти зʼясували, що «ядерну валізку» за Путіним носять капітани першого рангу

Як стверджує «Проект», у телефонних книжках колеги записують їх як «Діма-кнопка» та «Кнопка»

МВС Литви розслідує надання громадянства дітям російського олігарха Абрамовича

Литовському департаменту міграції доручили вивчити списки санкцій Євросоюзу і перевірити, чи не є громадянами Литви родичі інших підсанкційних осіб

Japan Pledges $4.5 Billion to Ukraine

Japan has pledged $4.5 billion to Ukraine for its war against Russia, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Thursday, $1 billion of which is designated for humanitarian aid.

“Japan is consistent and very principled in its support of our country and our people, and I am grateful for this assistance,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his daily address Thursday.  He said Japan’s decision to support Ukraine was “very timely and much-needed.”

A Russian drone attack killed one person and damaged port infrastructure in Ukraine’s Odesa region, the regional governor said Thursday.

Oleh Kiper said Odesa was under attack for two hours, and that while air defenses shot down most of the Russian drones involved, some of them made it through.

He identified the victim as a truck driver, and said the drone attack damaged a warehouse, elevator and trucks near the Danube River.

Ukraine’s military said Russia’s aerial attack involved a total of 18 drones targeting Odesa in southern Ukraine and the Khmelnytskyi region in the western part of the country.

Ukrainian air defenses shot down 15 of the 18 drones, the military said.

U.S. aid

Republican lawmakers in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday blocked $110 billion in aid for Ukraine and Israel, as well as some security measures for the U.S. southern border.

U.S. President Joe Biden had asked Congress for almost $106 billion to fund the wars and border needs.

The vote Wednesday was 49 votes in favor and 51 against, leaving the measure short of the 60 votes needed in order to proceed.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who supports Ukraine aid, told his party members to reject the aid package because it did not include policy changes, something lawmakers have fought over for years.

Earlier Wednesday, Biden implored Congress to approve more arms aid for Ukraine, saying that failing to pass the assistance would be the “greatest gift” the United States could hand Russian President Vladimir Putin in Putin’s nearly two-year war against the neighboring country.

At the same time, the U.S. Defense Department announced new security assistance for Ukraine that is the Biden administration’s 52nd allotment of equipment for Ukraine since August 2021. It contains air defense capabilities, artillery ammunition, anti-tank weapons and other equipment.

The $175 million military aid package includes guided missiles for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, anti-armor systems, and high-speed anti-radiation missiles, according to the Pentagon and State Department.

Speaking briefly at the White House, the U.S. leader said that if Putin defeats Ukraine, “it won’t stop there,” and Moscow would invade neighboring NATO countries the U.S. is legally bound to defend.

“If NATO is attacked,” Biden said, “We’ll have American troops fighting Russian troops. We can’t let Putin win.”

With the new tranche of aid, Biden emphasized in a statement that “security assistance for Ukraine is a smart investment in our national security. It helps to prevent a larger war in the region and deter potential aggression elsewhere.”

Some Republican lawmakers in both the Senate and House of Representatives say they will not approve the additional Ukraine assistance without adopting much stricter U.S.-Mexico border controls, such as blocking all illegal migration.

Biden said, “I support real solutions at the border … to fix the broken immigration system,” but called for a compromise with opposition Republicans, not blanket acceptance of shutting the border, one of the demands of some Republicans.

The president said Republicans “have to decide whether they want a political solution or a real solution. This has to be a compromise.”

Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

Німецькі дослідники констатують різке скорочення міжнародної допомоги Україні

Подальша відстрочка у допомозі Україні «однозначно зміцнить позиції Путіна», вважають дослідники

Припинення допомоги Україні було б «різдвяним подарунком» для лідерів РФ і Китаю – голова МЗС Британії

«Ми повинні передати ці гроші українцям, ми повинні їх підтримати і переконатися, що Путін програє»