Biden to address Ukraine crisis on Thursday

Biden to address Ukraine crisis on Thursday

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden is expected to deliver remarks on Thursday about the war in Ukraine, where civilians continue to face attacks by Russia's military as it opens a long-anticipated new offensive in the country's eastern region.

Biden will speak from the White House Roosevelt Room before he heads to Portland, Oregon and Seattle to promote the administration's infrastructure plans and attend fundraisers for the Democratic Party.

The administration is planning to prepare another hefty aid package for Ukraine, with an announcement expected this week. The package would likely be similar in size to the $800 million one announced last week, according to NBC News.

The package is expected to include more artillery and tens of thousands of more artillery rounds, which would help Ukraine fight Russian forces in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, two officials said.

The administration sent $800 million of a package to Ukraine last week that included 40,000 artillery rounds and mm howitzers, but a U.S. official said those artillery rounds would last only a little over a week.

Russians and Belarusians who have committed human rights abuses and companies and individuals who have tried to evade sanctions have been put under new sanctions by the administration on Wednesday.

A test-fired Intercontinental Ballistic Missile was also test-fired this week, but Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Russia had notified the U.S. in advance in accordance with treaty obligations and that the test was routine and not deemed a threat to the U.S. or its allies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared success in the port city of Mariupol and ordered his forces not to attack the Azovstal steel plant, where the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance is holding out in the city.

Biden told reporters earlier this week he didn't know if he would visit Kyiv, Ukraine's capital.

He said that I have been to Ukraine many times, but I haven't been there recently.