Biden Apologizes to Zelenskyy for Ukraine Aid Delay, While Russia Advanced


US President Joe Biden publicly apologized to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for a lengthy congressional delay in military aid while Russian forces made significant advances on the battlefield, the Associated Press reported.

The two leaders were in Paris to attend a ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

“I apologize for those weeks when I didn't know what was going to happen with regard to funding,” Biden told Zelensky.

The $61 billion military aid package finally approved by the US Congress last April was delayed for six months, largely due to resistance from conservative Republican lawmakers.

Biden assured his Ukrainian counterpart: “We are still fully present.”

“It is very important that, in this unit, the United States of America, all the American people stay with Ukraine as was the case during World War II,” Zelensky said.

Ahead of the D-Day commemoration, French President Emmanuel Macron also announced increased military aid to Ukraine, including the provision of Mirage fighter jets and training for Ukrainian forces.

“The delay in aid was an unjustified interruption.”


A Ukrainian soldier prepares 155mm artillery shells at his combat position as the Ukrainian army conducts an operation to target Russian forces' trenches across the Donetsk region amid the war between Russia and Ukraine in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on August 6, 2023.

A Ukrainian soldier prepares 155mm artillery shells at his combat position as the Ukrainian army conducts an operation to target Russian forces' trenches across the Donetsk region amid the war between Russia and Ukraine in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on August 6, 2023.

Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images



Last month, retired US Air Force Colonel and military analyst Cedric Layton told CNN that stalled US aid may reach Ukraine too late to stave off Russian advances.

“Frankly, the aid delay was an unjustified interruption in the Ukrainians’ ability to push back the Russian advance,” Layton said.

One American volunteer fighting in Ukraine told Business Insider's Sinead Baker that Ukrainian forces were “overwhelming” in the Battle of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine until a lack of shells meant Russian artillery was able to overpower them by about 20 times.

Ukraine withdrew from the city in February, giving Russia its first major victory in months.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is currently fending off a major Russian offensive in its eastern regions, especially around Kharkiv and Donetsk.

Russian forces are still making progress along the eastern front, and are set to take control of the village of Ivanevsky within days, Kyiv Independent journalist Asami Terajima told Business Insider.

Political polarization and the upcoming US elections in November could complicate the passage of further aid.



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