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Selenskyj and Biden confirm: USA will deliver Patriot air defense system and promise $1.8 billion package


Selenskyj and Biden confirm: USA will deliver Patriot air defense system and promise $1.8 billion package Created: 12/22/2022, 4:56 am By: Bettina Menzel, Sven Hauberg, Franziska Schwarz President Zelenskyy has arrived in Washington. The Russian defense minister wants to increase the number of soldiers to 1.5 million. News ticker on diplomacy in the Ukraine war. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy a

Selenskyj and Biden confirm: USA will deliver Patriot air defense system and promise $1.8 billion package

Created: 12/22/2022, 4:56 am

By: Bettina Menzel, Sven Hauberg, Franziska Schwarz

President Zelenskyy has arrived in Washington.

The Russian defense minister wants to increase the number of soldiers to 1.5 million.

News ticker on diplomacy in the Ukraine war.

  • Ukrainian President

    Zelenskyy arrives




    "I would like to thank you for your support"

  • US President


    on meeting with


    : "There is a lot to discuss"

  • Putin spokesman


    Zelenskyj's trip to the USA

    : "Does not bode well"

  • This

    news ticker


    diplomatic developments

    in the Ukraine war is constantly updated.

Update from December 21, 11:24 p.m .:

The public address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj and US President Joe Biden in the context of the Ukraine war focused on two main topics: the official announcement of the $ 1.85 billion aid package as well as the common allegiance against Putin.

Both hope that important achievements can be made for Ukraine in the war against Russia in the coming months.

At their joint appearance, both emphasized the cohesion of the two countries.

The ultimate core message of the meeting: solidarity.

Update from December 21, 11:09 p.m .:

Selenskyj answers a question from the audience partly in English, partly he switches back to his native language.

In an English reply he says: "I really hope that we win together... not just hope, I'm sure!"

Update from December 21, 11:03 p.m.:

After Biden’s speech, Selenskyj addressed the congress.

"I came to the United States today to express my gratitude to the American people." Given the background, the short visit to Washington is "a historic event for relations with the United States".

Selenskyj also thanks Biden and Congress.

He had traveled to Washington to strengthen Ukraine in the war.

He and Biden had intensive discussions about upcoming strategies and defense options.

Sanctions and ways to put pressure on the attacker were also discussed during the visit.

The Ukrainian President was particularly grateful for the newly agreed aid package, which includes the Patriot air defense system, among other things.

In between, he resorts to dramatic words: "We have to survive this winter."

Presidents Zelenskyy and Biden at a joint press conference.


Update from December 21, 10:54 p.m .:

According to the US President, Ukraine is sending a central signal with its fight for freedom.

“What you have achieved is important not only for Ukraine but for the whole world.

Together we will keep the flame of freedom burning.” With its defense against Russia, the country has received a lot of encouragement from countries in Europe and the USA.

The US would have taken in around 221,000 Ukrainian refugees.

“So far, Russia is alone in the war.

But you were not alone.

You will never stand alone.”

The US feels Ukrainian values ​​and the struggle for freedom "deep in the bones".

The country is ready to take action against tyrants.

Biden then lists many components of the aid package that the US is providing to Ukraine and includes $ 1.85 billion.

"We supply a constant stream of defensive weapons," he says, among other things.

Update from December 21, 10:47 p.m .:

The speech of the Ukrainian President Selenskyj before the US Congress starts with some delay.

"It's nice to see you in person again.

It was important for me to speak to you personally and to be able to look you in the eye.” He was in close contact with Zelenskyj from the beginning of the war.

In his speech, Biden emphasized, among other things, Putin's cruelty in his attack.

"Russia uses winter as a weapon, freezes people, starves them."

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New US Ambassador to Russia overwhelmingly confirmed

Update from December 21, 9:59 p.m .:

The US Senate confirmed the new ambassador in Moscow on Wednesday with an overwhelming majority.

Accordingly, the office will take over the experienced diplomat Lynne Tracy in the future.

Biden nominated the diplomat in September after the previous ambassador, John Sullivan, left Russia to retire.

Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer, said Ambassador Tracy will play a crucial role in defying Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tracy speaks Russian and has previously worked as an ambassador to Armenia.

Previously, she was senior adviser on Russia in the US State Department's Office of European and Eurasian Affairs and Deputy Ambassador to Moscow, according to the White House.

Selenskyj makes a symbolic gift to Biden during his visit - USA delivers Patriot air defense system to Ukraine

Update from December 21, 9:04 p.m.:

“Mr. President, welcome back.” With these words and a handshake, US President Biden welcomed the Ukrainian President when he arrived at the White House on Wednesday.

He puts an arm around Selenskyj's shoulder.

It is the start of a short trip intended to strengthen relations between the US and Ukraine in the war against Russia.

"It is hard to believe that for 300 days Putin has brutally attacked Ukrainians' right to exist as a nation and launched an attack on innocent Ukrainian citizens for no other reason than intimidation," Biden said at the reception.

According to CNN information, both heads of state then spoke to each other in the White House in the presence of reporters.

"We will continue to strengthen Ukraine's ability to defend itself, especially air defense, and therefore we will provide Ukraine with Patriot missile batteries," Biden said in the Oval Office. 

Zelenskyy presented the US President with a Ukrainian hero award.

He thanked Biden and the US Congress for their support: "Thank you, Mr. President.

Of course, I thank the bipartisan support, thank Congress, and thank ordinary people, Americans.

I really appreciate that," he said.

He refers in particular to the new aid package that was promised to Ukraine shortly before Zelenskyy's arrival.

During a talk at the White House, Zelenskyy presented the US President with a Ukrainian hero award.

© Patrick Semansky/AP/dpa

US President Biden receives Zelenskyj in the White House

Update from December 21, 8:31 p.m .:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj arrived at the White House on Wednesday evening (German time).

He was greeted by Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

Initial photos of the meeting show Zelenskyy in his signature green cargo pants and sweatshirt with a small badge of the Ukrainian coat of arms on it.

"I'm in Washington today to thank the American people, the President and Congress for their much-needed support.

And also to continue cooperation in order to get closer to our victory,” Zelenskyy said in a post on his official Telegram channel.

"I will conduct a series of negotiations to strengthen Ukraine's resilience and defense capabilities.

In particular, we will talk to US President Joseph Biden about bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and the United States of America.

Zelenskyj is received at the White House by US President Joe Biden and the First Lady.

© IMAGO / Allison Bailey

Washington wants to ensure Zelenskyj's safety during visits

Update from December 21, 7.43 p.m .:

Strict security precautions were taken in the USA to allow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj to visit Washington.

A source close to the Ukrainian leader told CNN on Wednesday that some top government officials and ambassadors to the US were not briefed to minimize the threat from Russia.

Meanwhile, Zelenskyy's motorcade was spotted in central Washington in front of the Blair House, the former guest house of the President, which is in close proximity to the White House.

In general, Zelenskyy only decided to travel when significant developments in bilateral relations between Ukraine and the United States became known as a result of the aid package.

Despite the high security precautions, the President is taking a high risk with his visit to the USA.

Security forces stand on the roof of the White House in preparation for the arrival of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy at the White House.

© picture alliance/dpa/AP |

Caroline Kaster

USA visit: Selenskyj landed in Washington

Update from December 21, 6:59 p.m .:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has arrived in Washington for his meeting with President Joe Biden and a speech to Congress.

A US official confirmed to the Associated Press that a US Air Force plane carrying the Ukrainian leader has landed at Joint Base Andrews, just outside the capital.

US and Ukrainian flags are flown along Pennsylvania Avenue ahead of the visit of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy.

© Jacquelyn Martin/AP/dpa

US to deliver Patriot system to Ukraine as part of 1.85 billion aid package

Update from December 21, 6:47 p.m .:

The United States is delivering the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine for the first time as part of a $1.85 billion (around €1.74 billion) aid package.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday before the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Ukraine could "shoot down cruise missiles, short-range ballistic missiles and aircraft at a significantly higher altitude than with previously delivered air defense systems".

According to the ministry, this will increase US military aid to Ukraine to “an unprecedented $21.9 billion.”

A US government official had previously said that Biden Zelenskyy would promise to deliver the Patriot system at the White House meeting on Wednesday.

Blinken pointed out that the Ukrainian army still needs to be trained to use this sophisticated device, which will happen "in a third country" and "take some time".

According to media reports, Ukrainian soldiers are to be trained in the use of the Patriot system at the US military training area in Grafenwoehr, Bavaria.

Selenskyj on the way to Washington: Some senators apparently miss a speech

Update from December 21, 6:14 p.m .:

Despite the fact that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj is entering the USA from a war zone, many senators could be missing in his speech to the US Congress in Washington.



reports, the Senate and House of Representatives have yet to vote on a draft $1.7 trillion aid package for Ukraine.

After that, however, some senators are likely to make their way home and miss the speech.

The reason for this is the winter storm that is said to be raging in large parts of the USA.

The senators want to avoid this.

Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin told


that he didn't know if he could attend.

"I'm struggling with the reality myself of coming home and trying to participate in something like this.

It depends on the Senate schedule more than anything," he told the US broadcaster.

However, he was not involved in the planning of Zelenskyi's visit.

"There was no indication that this would happen," Durbin is quoted as saying.

"And I feel really bad because I admire this man so much, and he comes at a very difficult time."

He is not the only senator who could potentially miss the Ukrainian President's speech due to weather conditions.

Putin decision with big consequences?

Russia is massively expanding its military in the Ukraine war

Update from December 21, 4:06 p.m .:

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has announced that the country’s armed forces will be significantly increased in number.

He proposes raising the number of soldiers to 1.5 million, Shoigu said Wednesday at a televised expanded Defense Ministry meeting chaired by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin.

This corresponds to an increase of 350,000 soldiers.

The Kremlin chief agreed to the proposals.

In particular, there should be a significant increase in the number of regular soldiers.

Their number is expected to rise to 695,000.

At the same time, the age period during which young men can be drafted as conscripts will be extended.

Shoigu proposes a maximum of 30 years.

Up to now, it has mainly been young men who have been called up after the age of 18 in Russia.

According to Schoigus, all of this serves the necessary expansion of the armed forces because of NATO expansion.

The 67-year-old therefore called for new units to be set up, especially in north-west Russia on the border with the potential new NATO countries Sweden and Finland.

This decision comes as quite a surprise.

Around Monday noon, TASS reported: Valentina


, Speaker of the Russian House of Lords, did not think a new wave of convocations was necessary and therefore described the rumors as fake news from the West.

This is how they want to provoke dissatisfaction in Russia.

After the partial mobilization was announced, a number of young Russians fled the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu attend an expanded meeting of the Board of the Russian Defense Ministry.

© IMAGO/Sergey Fadeichev/ SNA

Russia wants to have a nuclear-capable Sarmat ICBM ready

Update from December 21, 3:39 p.m .:

Despite delays, Russia wants its new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, which can be equipped with nuclear warheads, to be ready for use soon.

"Everything is being implemented," said Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Moscow at a meeting of the military leadership in the Defense Ministry, which was broadcast on state television.

The President acknowledged that there were "deviations from the schedules".

The missiles (NATO code name: SS-X-30 Satan 2) were originally supposed to be stationed with the armed forces in the fall.

The plans would be fulfilled in any case, stressed Putin.

The missile has a range of 18,000 kilometers and can be equipped with several nuclear warheads.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that 22 launch pads for ICBMs, including the Sarmat, Avantgarde and Jars types, should be put into operation next year.

Three long-range Tupolev Tu-160M ​​bombers, five submarines and twelve warships were also to be put into service.

A frigate is to be equipped with anti-ship missiles of the "Zirkon" type as early as January, which are also said to be able to develop hypersonic speeds.

US President Biden on meeting with Zelenskyy: "There is a lot to discuss"

Update from December 21, 3:10 p.m

.: US President Joe Biden wished his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyj a safe trip to Washington.

"Have a good flight, Volodymyr.

I am very happy that you are coming.

There's a lot to talk about," Biden wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning (local time).

Zelenskyj is expected on Wednesday afternoon (local time/Wednesday evening CET) for a short visit to the US capital, where he wants to meet Biden and give a speech to the US Congress.

It is his first trip abroad since Russia's war of aggression began on February 24.

The communications director of the National Security Council, John Kirby, said on US television on Wednesday morning that the talks between the two presidents would also deal with Ukraine's peace efforts.

"I have no doubt that they will talk about Zelenskyy's idea of ​​a just peace - what it might look like, what the components of that peace are and how we can help Ukraine achieve it," Kirby said.

But it is also obvious that Putin is not interested in diplomacy at the moment.

"But on the contrary.

He is interested in killing more Ukrainian civilians and turning off people's lights and heating as winter approaches.” The US must first ensure that Ukraine gets the defense assistance it needs.

Joe Biden meets Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Washington.

(Collage of archive images) © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

According to Kremlin spokesman Peskov, Putin postpones another appointment: "Full appointment calendar"

Update from December 21, 12:07 p.m

.: Kremlin spokesman Peskov had another announcement at his most recent press conference: Putin would not give his speech to the Federal Assembly of Russia (also called “Federal Assembly”) until the end of the year, Peskov said, according to the state news agency Ria Novosti.

The reason is the busy schedule of the Russian President.

Putin recently canceled another traditional appointment.

Putin spokesman on Zelenskyj's trip to the USA: "Does not bode well"

Update from December 21, 11:39 a.m

.: "All of this will undoubtedly lead to an aggravation of the conflict and in itself does not bode well for Ukraine": With these words, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has now referred to the planned Zelenskyi-Biden meeting and the US American Patriot deliveries to Kiev responded.

He does not expect that the Ukrainian president will be more willing to negotiate with Moscow after his trip to the USA.

Peskow criticized that the arms deliveries would not only be continued, but expanded to include new systems.

Because of the Russian missile attacks on the Ukrainian energy infrastructure, Kyiv had asked for additional anti-aircraft systems.

Parallel to Zelenskyy's flight, Putin will chair an expanded Defense Ministry meeting in Moscow.

Peskov confirmed that the Kremlin chief would give a "rather lengthy" speech.

However, he did not give details of the content.

Picture from December 9th: Dmitry Peskov at an appointment in Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan © Sergei Bobylev/Imago

Pope Francis at Christmas in the Ukraine war: "Children bear the tragedy"

Update from December 21, 11:21 a.m

.: "This Christmas, let's think of the Ukrainian people who have no light, no heating, no basic things to survive": Pope Francis called for prayer especially for the children in Ukraine.

"These children carry with them the tragedy of war, which is so inhuman and harsh," the head of the Catholic Church said during a general audience at the Vatican.

Pope Francis prays weekly for the people of the country attacked by Russia.

During the audience, he also praised Poland, whose people had "opened the doors of their homes with great generosity" to refugees from Ukraine.

"Concern for the civilian population": Putin talks with occupation chiefs in Ukraine

Update from December 21, 10:10 a.m

.: Putin has again determined the frontline situation in the Russian-occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk.

As before, the Kremlin chief emphasized the extremely difficult situation in the two regions, as reported by the state news agency Tass.

According to Tass, in the talks with the Donetsk and Lugansk occupation chiefs, Putin first wanted to deal with "vital issues" about the supply of water, heating and health services to the civilian population in the two occupied areas, it said.

"Only after that will we move on to security issues."

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) speaks during the ceremony conferring state awards of the Russian Federation at the Catherine Hall of the Kremlin December 20, 2022 in Moscow, Russia.

© IMAGO/Kremlin

Xi talks about 'new era': Putin's Medvedev in China

Update from December 21, 9:28 a.m

.: The timing could hardly be more delicate: Before US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyj meet in Washington later in the day, an encounter of a completely different kind took place in Beijing – China President Xi Jinping met Dmitry Medvedev, former President and Prime Minister of Russia and current leader of Putin's United Russia party, at the Chinese government guest house today.

This is reported by the Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

Xi asked Medvedev to "convey his warm greetings and good wishes" to Putin.

Xi stressed "mutual political trust between China and Russia" and "strategic cooperation between the two countries."

According to Xinhua, Xi also said, "China is willing to work with the Russian side to advance China-Russia relations in the new era and jointly promote a fairer and more reasonable global governance." Xi and Putin had already held a meeting in early February presented their ideas of a new international order in which the supremacy of the USA would be broken in a joint statement in Beijing.

In the Ukraine war - which Xi once again simply called a "crisis" - China is actively promoting peace and promoting talks, Xi said.

However, he did not announce any concrete steps.

"It is hoped that all parties concerned will keep common sense and restraint, engage in comprehensive dialogue, and resolve common security concerns through political means," Xi said.

Medvedev said Russia is ready to "solve the pending problems" in Ukraine "through peace talks," according to Xinhua.

He also stressed that Russia wants to work more closely with China "in the areas of trade, economy, energy and agriculture".

Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev (L) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping during a meeting.

© IMAGO/Yekaterina Shtukina/Tass

„Historische Aufgabe“ für Biden? „Überraschungsgast“ Selenskyj reist an

Update vom 21. Dezember, 8.48 Uhr: „Ich bin in die USA abgeflogen, um die Stabilität und Verteidigungsfähigkeit der Ukraine zu stärken“, twitterte Selenskyj nun zu seinem Treffen mit Biden. Der US-Sender CNN nannte die Visite des ukrainischen Präsidenten in Washington einen „Überraschungsbesuch“ und schrieb in einem Meinungsstück: „Dass Selenskyjs erste Auslandsreise seit Kriegsbeginn in die USA führt, unterstreicht auch Bidens historische Aufgabe, die westliche Einigkeit zu stärken, welche einst die Bestrebungen der Sowjetunion im Zaum hielt und die sich aktuell gegen die Expansions-Bestrebungen Moskaus stemmt.“

Die Sicherheitsvorkehrungen für Selenskyjs Besuch seien „außergewöhnlich“ hoch, hieß es bei CNN weiter. Der Sender verwies darauf, dass zum Beispiel bis zuletzt Pelosi die Reise nicht offiziell bestätigen wollte.

Selenskyj im Ukraine-Krieg: Erste Auslandsreise seit Beginn der Gefechte

Erstmeldung vom 21. Dezember: Kiew/Washington – Wolodymyr Selenskyj hat die Ukraine seit Beginn des russischen Angriffskriegs nicht verlassen. Der ukrainische Präsident hat sich aber in zahlreichen Telefonaten und Videokonferenzen mit Staats- und Regierungschefs ausgetauscht. Am Dienstag (20. Dezember) reiste Selenskyj zu einem riskanten Frontbesuch nach Bachmut.

Baldiges Treffen von Selenskyj und Biden? Pelosi bleibt vage

Now Zelenskyj wants to visit Washington on Wednesday (December 21) on his first trip abroad since the beginning of the war.

The US government confirmed reports early Wednesday morning.

US President Joe Biden is said to also want to announce during the meeting that the US will deliver the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine.

The outgoing Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, did not initially confirm the reports to the press.

But she said the visit of an "absolute hero" like Zelensky would "do credit to the US Congress."

The Ukrainian people are fighting in the conflict against Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin "for all of us, for democracy".

Volodymyr Zelenskyj (archive photo) meets Joe Biden in Washington.

© Andrew Kravchenko/AP/dpa

Putin probably with "important announcement": Kremlin chief meets military leadership

Meanwhile, Putin wants to take stock and give an outlook on the same day.

The Russian president will chair an expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry, to which 15,000 commanders and other military leaders will be connected via video, the Kremlin said on the previous day.

It is about the results of this year and about tasks and goals for the coming year, it said.

Earlier, Russia's state television reported that Putin would make an important announcement this week.

After numerous defeats in the "military special operation", as it is officially called in Russia, Putin is under pressure.

Hardliners, but also patriotic military experts, are calling for more decisive action by the army in Ukraine. 


Source: merkur

All news articles on 2022-12-22

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