Russia attacks Ukraine: Biden requests Congress for additional $33B in Ukraine aid

President Joe Biden has asked Congress for an additional $33 billion to help Ukraine as it continues to battle back against the ongoing Russian invasion.

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The Associated Press reported the help will include more than $20 billion in military assistance as part of the supplemental budget request he is sending to lawmakers.

Biden said it is critical for Congress to approve the bill, adding that “caving to aggression is going to be more costly.”

“We either back Ukrainian people as they defend their country, or we stand by as the Russians continue their atrocities and aggression,” Biden said, according to The Washington Post.

>>Related: Russia attacks Ukraine: US promises new aid during meeting with Zelenskyy

Biden made a point during his address Thursday morning to say that the U.S. is not attacking Russia, but is instead helping Ukraine.

CNN broke down the $20.4 billion:

  • $5 billion will be for additional drawdown authorities.
  • $6 billion will go toward Ukraine’s Security Assistance Initiative.
  • $4 billion is for the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing Program.

This latest request is expected to last for five months, the AP reported.

In addition to the military aid, $8.5 billion is earmarked “to help the government of Ukraine respond to the immediate crisis and continue to provide basic services to the Ukrainian people,” CNN reported. A fact sheet given to CNN said that some of the money could go to combating Russian disinformation and propaganda.

About $3 billion of the economic assistance will include “wheat and other commodities” for those in need.

>>Related: Biden announces $800 million of additional military aid for Ukraine

Ukraine produces about 10% of the wheat sent around the world, Biden said. The money will help ease rising food prices in the U.S.

There will also be job training, mental health services and resources for U.S. school districts to help support refugees arriving from Ukraine, CNN reported.

Biden is also using the Defense Production Act to increase production to ease the supply disruptions that the invasion had started when it comes to minerals and other materials, CNN reported.

Biden is also pushing for new powers to allow for the liquidation of the assets seized from Russian oligarchs and for the money raised to go directly to help Ukraine, the Post reported.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has warned nations about interfering with the invasion as Russia turned off the gas supply his country provides to Poland and Bulgaria. The move had Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accusing Putin of weaponizing emergency, the Post reported. Poland and Bulgaria are getting gas from other countries under a contingency plan.

Russia has also verbally fired back at Biden and the U.S.

>>Related: Russia attacks Ukraine: Blinken, Austin meet Zelenskyy in Kyiv, official says

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that the “measures, even of this idiotic nature, will continue. We certainly, as you know, leave nothing without a response and that they should understand that,” the Post reported.

Moscow said it will retaliate and is urging oligarchs to take legal action against the U.S.

“Every action has a counteraction. And if you seize assets from our individuals abroad, we will seize assets from your individuals,” Russian senator Ivan Abramov said, according to the Post.