Biden is reversing course, saying US will send missiles to Ukraine

President Biden announced in an op-ed Tuesday that his administration would send advanced missile systems to Ukraine — a change of course from a day earlier when he said the US would not supply the missiles to the war-torn country.

“We acted quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of arms and ammunition to fight on the battlefield and be in the best possible position at the negotiating table,” Biden wrote in a New York Times op-ed.

“That’s why I decided that we would equip the Ukrainians with more advanced missile systems and ammunition that will allow them to more accurately hit key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine.”

Biden’s change of heart came after several officials criticized the president’s refusal to send missiles to Ukraine as the country continues to fight off Russia’s brutal invasion that began on February 24.

A former US ambassador to Russia under President Obama criticized Biden for rejecting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenky’s request for multiple-launch missile systems and high-mobility artillery missile systems.

Ex-Ambassador Michael McFaul, who is also an MSNBC analyst, called Biden’s approach “a losing strategy” when asked about a tweet he posted MSNBC said: “Not arming Ukraine is prolonging the war”.

A launch vehicle fires the Lockheed Martin-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) during combat training in the high desert at Washington's Yakima Training Center.
The Biden administration will send a slew of artillery weapons to Ukraine, including “precision missile systems” and missiles.
Tony Overman/The Olympian via AP, file

US officials had previously raised concerns about whether Russia would see the US arms shipment as a step too far in Western involvement.

In his comment, Biden said his administration will send anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles and precision missile systems, among other things.

“We will continue to provide Ukraine with advanced weapons, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, powerful artillery and precision missile systems, radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, Mi-17 helicopters and ammunition,” he wrote.

Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul
Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul argued that Biden was delaying the end of the Russian invasion.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The President added that his government does not encourage Ukraine to point guns at locations in Russia.

“We do not encourage or enable Ukraine to strike beyond its borders,” Biden wrote. “We don’t want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia.”

He said in addition to arms, the US would send billions more in financial aid to the eastern European country, as approved by Congress.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seen in this image from a video provided by the Press Office of the President of Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has long asked Biden for artillery and aircraft.
Press Office of the President of Ukraine via AP

The President also wrote that the US will not directly intervene in the conflict – either by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine or by attacking Russian forces.

“We are not seeking a war between NATO and Russia,” Biden said in the comment. “As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin and find his actions outrageous, the United States will not seek to bring about his downfall in Moscow.” Biden is reversing course, saying US will send missiles to Ukraine


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