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U.S. to announce more help for Ukraine, White House adviser says

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U.S. to announce more help for Ukraine, White House adviser says
Members of the Ukrainian Army 95 brigade perform a gun salute during burial services for Tromssa Bogdan Volodymerovuch at a cemetery in Bucha, Ukraine, on Saturday. Volodymerovuch was a paratrooper who died somewhere between Symu and Kharkiv. His body was almost unrecognizable. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

April 24 (UPI) -- The United States will announce more help for Ukraine this week, White House deputy national security adviser Jon Finer said Sunday.

Finer, in an interview with NBC's Meet the Press, noted that the United States has announced $1.6 billion in additional security assistance to Ukraine in just the last two weeks "that is having a significant effect on the ground."

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"We've been announcing deliverables, which is a fancy word for things that we are providing to the Ukrainians to enable their fight, just about every day and if not every day, every week, and we will have more to say about that in the week ahead," Finer said.

During the interview, Finer was asked whether the U.S. response would shift if Russian forces were to successfully take southern Ukraine to create a land bridge to Crimea, the region of Ukraine illegally annexed by Russia in 2014, or to move into Moldova.

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"We've shown ability to be nimble to adjust our assistance and our approach as the Russian war aims have evolved. And we will continue to do that over time depending on how things evolve on the battlefield," Finer said.

"In our view, Russia has already lost -- has already lost many of its initial war aims. Russia intended to divide the west they have resulted in a west and a NATO alliance that is much more united than it's ever been."

Finer noted that Russia had initially intended to overthrow the Ukrainian government but that President Volodymyr Zelensky is "firmly entrenched in power and Ukrainian democracy continues."

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"Russia is more isolated in the world, its economy is weaker," he said. "They are failing in every one of their objectives and our objective is going to be to continue that trend."

The U.S. Defense Department released a fact sheet on Friday noting that the U.S. has now committed more than $4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

Some of the security assistance to Ukraine includes more than 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 5,500 Javelin anti-armor systems and 14,000 other anti-armor systems.

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The U.S. has also committed more than 700 Switchblade tactical drones, 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical drones, 16 Mi-17 helicopters, hundreds of armored and tactical vehicles and more than 50 million rounds of ammunition among other weapons and explosives.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is expected to meet with Zelensky on Sunday, tweeted that the United States is "inspired by the resilience of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine in the face of President Putin's brutal war of aggression."

"We are continuing to support them and, today, we wish them and all others celebrating Easter hope and a swift return to peace," Blinken said.

Russian attacks in the Luhansk region of Ukraine have destroyed at least seven Orthodox Christian churches as the country celebrated Orthodox Easter, according to the regional governor Sergiy Haidai.

"The Russians are erasing everything they come across from Luhansk. Even what they believe in are Orthodox churches," Haidai said.

Haidai said that six people died and two more people were seriously injured after an artillery attack on the towns of Gorske and Zolote, as Russian forces fired at residential homes on Saturday.

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