Biden to ask Congress for new Ukraine aid package Thursday
President Joe Biden will request Congress fund a new supplemental aid package for Ukraine during remarks from the White House Thursday morning, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.
The extra funding is intended to last for the next five months, through the end of the fiscal year, the sources said. Administration officials earlier described the amount of the request as “massive” but would not provide a specific dollar amount. Some details were still not finalized, the officials said.
The military aid is expected to include capabilities Ukraine could use now and equipment for the longer term.
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Explosions boom in Russian-occupied city of Kherson
In the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, a series of explosions boomed near the television tower late Wednesday and at least temporarily knocked Russian channels off the air, Ukrainian and Russian news organizations reported.
The Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said missiles and rockets were fired at the city from the direction of the Ukrainian forces to the northwest. NBC News has not independently verified the allegation.
Kherson has been occupied by Russian forces since early in the war. Russia has been determined to strengthen its control over the city, but residents have continued to come out onto the streets to protest the occupation.
Russian navy can still strike Ukraine, has 20 vessels in Black Sea, U.K. says
The Russian navy is still able to hit Ukrainian targets from the Black Sea despite the high-profile loss of its fleet’s flagship, the British defense ministry has said.
“Despite the embarrassing losses of the landing ship Saratov and cruiser Moskva, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet retains the ability to strike Ukrainian and coastal targets,” it said in an intelligence update Thursday.
The ministry said there are approximately 20 Russian naval vessels in the Black Sea operational zone, including submarines.
Germany bought most Russian energy during first months of Ukraine war, study finds
An independent research group says Germany was the biggest buyer of Russian energy during the first two months of the war in Ukraine.
A study published by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air calculates that Russia earned $66.5 billion from fossil fuel exports since Russian troops attacked Ukraine two months ago.
Using data on ship movements, real-time tracking of gas flows through pipelines and estimates based on historical monthly trade, the researchers reckon Germany paid Russia about $9.57 billion for fossil fuel deliveries in the first two months of the war.
The German government said it can’t comment on estimates, and it declined to provide any figures of its own.