Putin Scrapped Plans To Storm A Steel Plant In The Key City, But Ordered Forces To Blockade The Site ‘so That A Fly Can’t Get Through’

Putin Scrapped Plans To Storm A Steel Plant In The Key City, But Ordered Forces To Blockade The Site ‘so That A Fly Can’t Get Through’

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2 hr 19 min agoBiden says it’s “questionable” whether Russia controls MariupolFrom CNN’s Allie Malloy

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, on April 21, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Evan Vucci/AP)US President Joe Biden said Thursday it was “questionable” whether Russian President Vladimir Putin controls Mariupol, Ukraine.

“It’s questionable whether he does control Mariupol,” Biden said adding, “There is no evidence yet that Mariupol is completely fallen.”

Biden also called on Putin to allow humanitarian aid into Ukraine to allow those trapped inside the steel plant to be able to get out.

“That’s what any head of state would do in any circumstance,” Biden added.

CNN reported Thursday that Putin has scrapped plans to storm the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, saying those who choose to surrender should be treated in accordance with international conventions. Putin ordered forces to blockade the plant “so that a fly can’t get through.”

Ukrainian forces are continuing to resist attacks on the plant and ignoring Russian calls to surrender. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the country’s forces don’t have enough “serious and heavy” weapons to defeat the Russian army in Mariupol as “thousands” of civilians remain trapped inside.

2 hr 26 min agoBiden says Russian offensive will be “more limited in terms of geography but not in terms of brutality”While US President Joe Biden announced an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine, he said Russian President Vladimir Putin will refocus his invasion of Ukraine on the eastern part of the country.

“Now we have to accelerate that assistance package to help prepare Ukraine for Russia’s offensive that’s going to be more limited in terms of geography but not in terms of brutality,” Biden said in remarks from The White House. Biden also reflected on the war so far, and said Putin is still trying to break up Western unity against the war. He said Putin will “never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine.”

“We don’t know how long this war will last but as we approach the two-month mark, here’s what we do know, Putin has failed to achieve his grand ambitions on the battlefield. After weeks of shelling Kyiv — Kyiv still stands. President Zelensky and his democratic-elected government still remain in power,” Biden said.

“And the Ukrainian Armed Forces, joined by many brave Ukrainian civilians, have thwarted Russia’s conquest of the country. They’ve been bolstered from day one by an unstinting supply of weapons, ammunition, armor, intelligence, from the nations of the free world led by us, the United States,” the US President said.

“As Russia continues to grind out the military advances … and the brutality against Ukraine, Putin is banking on us losing interest. That’s been my view, you’ve heard me say this from the beginning, he was counting on NATO, European Union, our allies and Asia, cracking, moving away. He’s betting on Western unity will crack. He’s still betting on that. Once again, we’re going to prove him wrong. We will not lessen our resolve,” he continued.

2 hr 26 min agoBiden announces $500 million in Ukrainian government aid and new program for refugeesFrom CNN’s Betsy Klein

US President Joe Biden announced a separate tranche of $500 million in US assistance for the Ukrainian government in addition to the $800 million in military aid he pledged Thursday.

 “In addition to bolstering Ukraine’s resistance on the battlefield, we’re also demonstrating our support for the people of Ukraine. Today, the United States is announcing that we intend to provide an additional $500 million in direct economic assistance to the Ukrainian government,” Biden said in remarks in the Roosevelt Room.The new aid brings the total US economic support for Ukraine, the President said, to $1 billion in the past nearly two months since Russia’s invasion.

The $500 million in funding can be used by Ukraine’s government “to stabilize their economy, to support communities that have been devastated by the Russian onslaught, and pay the brave workers that continue to provide essential services to the people of Ukraine,” Biden said.

He also announced “Unite for Ukraine,” a new effort to support Ukrainians seeking to come to the US amid the ongoing, brutal invasion, with approximately two-thirds of Ukrainian children displaced.

“I’m announcing a program, ‘Unite for Ukraine,’ a new program to enable Ukrainians seeking refuge to come directly from Europe to the United States. This new humanitarian parole program will complement the existing legal pathways available to Ukrainians, including immigrant visas and refugees processing,” Biden said.

He described it as “an expedient channel for secure legal migration from Europe to the United States for Ukrainians,” noting that those migrants must have a US sponsor, including a family or non-governmental organization.

“This program will be fast, it’ll be streamlined, and it will ensure the United States honors its commitment to to the people Ukraine and need not go through our southern border,” he said.

Biden said the United States’ new actions were intending to send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin as he continues his violent incursion into a third month.

“Our unity with our allies and partners and our unity with the Ukrainian people is sending an unmistakable message to Putin: He will never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine. He will not,” he said.

2 hr 43 min agoBiden says he’ll make formal request to Congress next week on second supplemental funding package for UkraineFrom CNN’s Kevin Liptak

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, on April 21, in Washington, D.C. (Evan Vucci/AP)US President Joe Biden announced Thursday he will make a formal request next week for Congress to approve a second supplemental funding package to aid Ukraine.

Biden said he expected Congress to “move and act quickly” on the package.

“In order to sustain Ukraine

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