Biden administration approves $200 million more in military aid to Ukraine

Announcement by State Department brings total aid to $1.2 billion as Russian attacks intensified and efforts to reach ceasefire failed.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced Saturday night the Biden administration has approved $200 million more in emergency military aid to Ukraine as Russian forces intensified their attacks in multiple cities as military and civilian losses mounted in the three-week-old war.

“I have authorized a drawdown of up to $200 million for additional arms and equipment to Ukraine,” Blinken tweeted just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made another unsuccessful plea for  no-fly zone to slow Russia’s aerial bombardment.

”This unprecedented fourth drawdown in less than a year will bring total U.S. security assistance provided to Ukraine to more than $1.2 billion since January 2021,” America’s chief diplomat said.

The rushed aid came as Ukraine announced it had lost 1300 soldiers in Russian shelling intensified in the port city of Mariupol while heavy artillery struck near the capital of Kiev. Humanitarian aid to multiple cities was thwarted by Russian forces.

Talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire again failed Saturday, even as Zelensky signaled he would be willing to meet Putin in Israel.