US President Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, DC, October 19, 2023 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1112 GMT:
A Russian missile strike on an industrial facility in Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine has killed a 60-year-old man and hospitalized his wife with serious shrapnel wounds.
In the Kherson region in southern Ukraine, one civilian was killed and another injured by “mass shelling”, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said.
UPDATE 1106 GMT:
Germany has committed an additional €200 million ($212 million) to Ukraine for reconstruction and for restoration of education, health care, and supplies of drinking water.
UPDATE 1008 GMT:
A Russian court extended the detention of Russian-American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva by 72 hours on Friday.
The journalist sat in a glass box with her arms folded, wearing a large white mask over her face and a black coat with a hood covering her head.
Kurmasheva, a Prague-based journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, is accused of violating Russia’s law on foreign agents. Her passports were confiscated on June 2, as she was leaving Russia after visiting the country because of a family emergency. Criminal charges were announced on October 18, and she was detained immediately.
Kurmasheva is the second US journalist detained during Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershovich was seized at the end of March as he was researching an article in Yekaterinburg near the Ural Mountains.
UPDATE 0922 GMT:
Russia’s Justice Ministry has declared former Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Kunadze a “foreign agent”.
The Ministry claimed Kunadze “disseminated false information” about the Russian army and government and “took part as a respondent on information platforms provided by foreign structures”.
Kunadze has been in the diplomatic service since 1983. He was Deputy Foreign Minister from 1991 to 1993, followed by the ambassador’s post in South Korea and service as Deputy Director of the Institute of the USA and Canada at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Political scientist Mikhail Savva and journalist Ilya Kosygin have also been put on the “foreign agents” list.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: The Biden administration has sent a request to Congress for $61.4 billion in financial, economic, and military aid to Ukraine.
The assistance is part of a $106.2 package which also includes assistance to Israel, Taiwan, and humanitarian and aid to Gaza.
The formal request follows Biden’s Thursday night address to the nation calling for a “smart investment” for US security and global stability.
We’re not withdrawing….If we don’t stop Putin’s appetite for power and control in Ukraine, he won’t limit himself just to Ukraine….If we walk away and let Putin erase Ukraine’s independence, would-be aggressors around the world would be emboldened to try the same.
At a Friday morning press briefing, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke of “a global inflection point”:
These conflicts can seem far away, but the outcome of these fights for democracy against terrorism and tyranny are vital to the safety and security of the American people….We need congressional action to ensure that we can continue to meet Ukraine’s battlefield needs and protect its people while they’re under attack.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who spoke with Biden before the US President’s televised speech, expressed his gratitude:
I thank @POTUS Joe Biden for his powerful address. Together, we will not allow hatred destroy freedom, and we will not let terrorists destroy democracy.
Ukraine is grateful for all the U.S. support and its unfaltering belief that humanism, freedom, independence, and rules-based…
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) October 20, 2023
The measure faces the challenge of a paralyzed US House, which has to initiate all legislation for appropriations. Speaker Kevin McCarthy was removed by hard-right Republicans and Trumpists in early October, and the divided GOP has been unable to agree on a replacement.
Budget Director Sholanda Young said Friday, “Our job is to make clear to Congress what the needs are, and what happens if critical funding is not delivered. So we’re doing our job here by letting Congress know what the critical needs are, and we expect them to act and act swiftly.”
What’s In the Ukraine Aid Package
The proposed assistance for Ukraine includes $30 billion for military equipment and replenishment of US stocks, and $14.4 billion for continued military, intelligence and other defense support.
Another $16.3 billion for economic, security and operational assistance includes direct budget support for the Zelenskiy Government to provide critical services and sustain the economy. There are investments in infrastructure and civilian law enforcement, and funds for clearing of mines.
Support of Ukrainians arriving in the US through the Uniting for Ukraine program receives another $481 million.