President Joe Biden asked Congress to fund $33 a new Ukraine aid package Thursday as the West stepped up support for Kyiv and embraced a more ambitious goal of weakening Russia despite intensifying threats and action from the Kremlin.
Biden’s White House remarks came after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of “lightning fast” retaliation against any countries that interfere in Ukraine, where Russian forces increased their attacks on the country’s east in search of a military breakthrough.
Two missiles struck Kyiv on Thursday evening as United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres was visiting the city and witnessed the damage caused to suburbs and towns surrounding the capital.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin’s move to cut off gas supplies to NATO members Poland and Bulgaria left Europe confronting the prospect of an energy crisis as the conflict increasingly extends into a broader standoff with Russia over economic sanctions and military shipments.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Moscow of using gas and trade as weapons, even as his efforts to rally support for his country’s defensive cause appeared to be succeeding despite Putin’s efforts to weaken the West’s resolve.