Biden to host military leaders at White House as Ukraine war rages on – New York Post

Biden to host military leaders at White House as Ukraine war rages on – New York Post

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President Biden is set to meet and dine with his top military leaders Wednesday evening as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nears the eight-week mark. 
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, his deputy Kathleen Hicks and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley are among those scheduled to meet with the president at 4 p.m.
The meeting will be followed by a dinner for the military chiefs and their spouses, the White House revealed Tuesday. 
Wednesday’s meeting comes just one day after reports emerged that the Biden administration is preparing to announce another large military aid package for Ukraine. 
Multiple US officials told NBC News that the package will be similar to the $800 million in aid approved by Biden last week — which includes helicopters, artillery and ammunition.
On Tuesday afternoon, the president was pressed by reporters about whether he will be sending more artillery to the embattled Eastern European country. 
“Yes,” Biden said simply. 
Earlier in the day, Biden also spoke with several foreign allies and partners about providing “more ammunition and security assistance to Ukraine,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed to reporters. 
More than 5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24. 
Thousands of civilians are believed to be dead, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blaming Russia for the deaths of “tens of thousands” of people in the city of Mariupol alone earlier this month. 
On Tuesday, Zelensky claimed that if Western nations had supplied Ukraine with more weapons and arms earlier in the invasion, Moscow would have already been defeated.
“If we had access to all the weapons we need, which our partners have and which are comparable to the weapons used by the Russian Federation, we would have already ended this war,” Zelensky said in a video address, per the Times of London.
“We would have already restored peace and liberated our territory from the occupiers, because the superiority of the Ukrainian military in tactics and wisdom is quite obvious.”
Despite criticism from Ukraine and at home, the Biden administration has been cautious with the extent of the military aid it has provided, avoiding declaring a no-fly-zone over Ukraine and nixing the transfer of MiG-29 jet fighters from Poland.
The White House has also made it clear that it will not be deploying any troops into Ukraine. 
In addition to a potential new aid package, some US troops have been directed to train some Ukrainian forces on how to use howitzer artillery systems. The training had not begun as of Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
“There is a plan in place and we’re beginning to execute that — that plan to get the training done,” he said. “Again, it will be for a daily limited amount of — Ukrainian trainers that will then go in and, and train their colleagues. It will be outside of the country.”
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