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Biden says U.S. aid 'changing people's lives' in Ukraine

U.S. Marines fire the FGM-148 Javelin missile during a live-fire range for exercise Platinum Lion at the Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria on December 15, 2016. President Joe Biden will visit an Alabama plant that makes the missiles and talk about Ukrainian security on Tuesday. File Photo by U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Michelle Reif/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/2b287eba7c9edab9623441670a2a0560/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.S. Marines fire the FGM-148 Javelin missile during a live-fire range for exercise Platinum Lion at the Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria on December 15, 2016. President Joe Biden will visit an Alabama plant that makes the missiles and talk about Ukrainian security on Tuesday. File Photo by U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Michelle Reif/UPI | License Photo

May 3 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Tuesday praised American aid to Ukraine for "changing people's lives" during a visit to Alabama to tour a Lockheed Martin facility.

The facility, located in Troy, Ala., makes Javelin anti-tank missiles, which the Ukrainian military has been using against Russian armored vehicles during the war. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the weapons were critical in helping Ukraine defend the capital of Kyiv early on in the war.

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Meeting one worker at the facility, Biden told her, "you realize how many lives you've saved."

"Tell you what, you make a gigantic difference to the rest of the world."

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He echoed the sentiments during formal remarks later.

"Those Javelins I saw, there are 10 for every tank. We're changing people's lives," Biden said.

He accused Russia of committing "a lot of war crimes" in its war on Ukraine.

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"There's an ongoing battle in the world between autocracy and democracy."

Biden told the crowd the United States has committed 5,500 Javelins to Ukraine as part of an overall $3 billion in aid.

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"For those of you who aren't familiar with Javelin missiles, they are a lightweight, portable, shoulder-fired anti-tank weapon system that can hit targets up to 2.5 miles away," Psaki said at Monday's press briefing. "They're highly lethal and we've sent over 5,500 Javelin anti-armor systems to Ukraine to support the Ukrainian people's fight for freedom.

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The Lockheed Martin facility has produced more than 50,000 Javelin missiles over the past 20 years.

During his remarks, Biden also called on Congress to pass a $33 billion aid package to Ukraine, which will include a provision to seize and sell the U.S.-based assets of Russian oligarchs to send to Kyiv. Currently, the U.S. government does not have the power to go after the U.S.-based assets of oligarchs, which is why the Biden administration has called on Congress to pass legislation for the authority to do so.

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