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“Defending Ukraine: Defense Secretary Austin Appeals to Congress for Support Against Russia”.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited Ukraine this weekend in a meeting with Ukrainian government officials, spurred on by the United States’ efforts to counter Russian aggression in the region. The Pentagon is urging Congress to pass additional aid to the beleaguered nation in the wake of the ongoing military conflict. As the U.S. continues to assess Russia’s increasingly aggressive activities in Ukraine, the Pentagon has called for Congress to approve additional money for further support of the Ukrainian people. Secretary Austin visited Kyiv to discuss the need for additional aid and to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to support Ukraine as a sovereign nation. The conflict between Ukraine and Russia began in 2014, when Russia began to back separatists in the eastern part of the country. Since then, Ukraine has been limited because of Russia’s military presence in the region and the ongoing blockade of the Sea of Azov, which severely limits access to trade and resources. Under the Biden administration, the United States has accelerated its activities in support of Ukraine. The U.S. has increased military exercises in the Black Sea, provided lethal weapons to Ukraine’s military, and recently deployed additional U.S. forces to the region. In his remarks following his meeting with Secretary Austin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said, “Russia’s occupation remains a major obstacle for the security and well-being of Ukraine and the region. Ukraine is grateful for the US’s unwavering commitment to our country and its support in the fight against Russian aggression.” The United States is committed to providing further aid to Ukraine through the U.S. State Department’s diplomatic engagement and the Department of Defense’s contributions, such as those mentioned earlier. The Pentagon has also requested additional funds from Congress to assist Ukraine’s military in fighting Russian aggression. The United States believes it is important to continue to back Ukraine in its fight for freedom from Russian aggression. Secretary Austin’s visit is just one example of the United States’ commitment to standing up for the sovereignty of Ukraine and its people.