Biden tells Zelensky US will supply ATACMS long-range missiles to Ukraine

Zelensky has been pressing the Biden administration to send these long-range missiles for months.

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Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
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President Biden will be supplying the Ukrainian government with ATACMS long-range missiles to aid in the country's ongoing war against Russia.

Biden reportedly told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky this during his trip to the White House on Thursday, three US officials and a congressional official with knowledge of the conversation told NBC News. The officials did not say when the missiles would be delivered, nor when a public announcement would be made.

The Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) will be used by the Ukrainian govt to attack and disrupt supply lines, air bases, and rail networks in Russian-occupied territory.

Zelensky has been pressing the Biden administration to send these long-range missiles for months.

On Thursday, President Biden asserted that the United States will continue to aid Ukraine in its war against Russia and announced a new $325 million military aid package for Kyiv, which has been strongly condemned by House Republicans.

Zelensky, who was hoping to see an additional $24 billion from the US, thanked President Biden for the latest package of weaponry and said, "It has exactly what our soldiers need now."

According to Reuters, these long-range missiles can fly up to 190 miles and are designed for "deep attack of enemy second-echelon forces." The United States uses these missiles to attack command and control centers, air defenses, and logistics sites.

Before Zelensky arrived in the United States, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy declined to platform him and refused to allow the Ukrainian leader to deliver an address to a joint session of Congress.

Republicans in the House staunchly oppose further funding for Ukraine, and have been battling over a continuing resolution to keep the government funded. The current CR expires at the end of September. Senator Rand Paul, as well as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, have vowed to block new funding for Ukraine. McCarthy does want funding for Ukraine to be included in the CR. 

In the spring, Ukraine launched a counteroffensive against Russia that has not produced the desired results. The US has promised more aid and weapons to help push back the invasion and regain lost territory. Senator Josh Hawley also spoke after the meeting, saying "If there is a path toward something that can be called a victory here, I didn’t hear it."

In the past week, Zelensky fired all six of his defense ministers. This was in an effort to combat corruption. House Republicans, including Greene, have asked for an audit of the money sent to Ukraine since the Russian invasion of that nation in February 2022. The US has sent nearly $44 billion to Ukraine, while the total cost of the war effort is upwards of $150 billion, with funds coming from the US as well as Europe.
 
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