Biden Blames Congress for Mistake Causing Ukrainian City’s Collapse

( – As Ukraine leaders retreated from the longtime stronghold Avdiivka Feb. 17, President Joe Biden, 81, placed the blame for the city’s fall on Congress and its “absurd’’ failure to approve emergency aid for Ukraine.

In a call between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Biden, Zelensky stated that the city fell to Russian forces because Ukrainian forces had to “ration ammunition due to dwindling supplies.” Biden stated he is going to “fight” to make sure Ukraine gets “the ammunition they need,” adding that Russia was handed a significant victory when Ukraine forces retreated from Avdiivka after months of fighting. He stated Ukraine forces have fought “bravely and heroically.” However, Biden added that he cannot guarantee that Russia would not gain control of other Ukrainian cities before Congress approves more aid. Biden called it “unethical” that more aid has not yet been approved by Congress, stating he informed Zelensky he was “confident” more aid would be coming soon for Ukraine.

Biden’s National Security Council Spokeswoman, Adrienne Watson, called the fall of Avdiivka to Russian forces “the cost of congressional inaction.”

At the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Zelensky met with U.S. officials including House Intelligence Committee Chairman and Ohio Rep. Mike Turner. Turner stated Zelensky expressed concern about more aid and that there could be “a gap in weapons getting to the Ukraine.”

In August, Biden requested more aid for Ukraine. However, lawmakers stated they would not approve his proposed $106 billion package that included aid for Ukraine and Israel without a deal tightening border security for the U.S.-Mexico border. A $95 billion package that includes $60 billion for Ukraine passed Feb. 13 in the Senate. However, House Speaker and Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson has stated he will not take the Senate package for more aid for Ukraine to the House floor.

Zelensky said the “package is vital,” adding that Ukraine is “counting on the United States.”

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