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U.S. announces $457M to bolster Ukraine's law enforcement

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meet in Kyiv, Ukraine, in early September. On Monday, Blinken announced an additional $457.5 million in assistance for Ukraine's law enforcement. Photo by Ukrainian President Press Office/ UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/baf4234153149de4cf6abbf598ff7649/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meet in Kyiv, Ukraine, in early September. On Monday, Blinken announced an additional $457.5 million in assistance for Ukraine's law enforcement. Photo by Ukrainian President Press Office/ UPI | License Photo

Sept. 26 (UPI) -- The Biden administration on Monday announced an additional $457.5 million in civilian aid to bolster Ukraine's law enforcement and criminal justice agencies amid Russia's war in the Eastern European nation.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the new funding will improve the operational capacity of Kyiv's law enforcement officers and save lives "as they continue to help defend the Ukrainian people, their freedom and their democracy from the Kremlin's brutal war of aggression."

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"Our provision of personal protective equipment, medical supplies and armored vehicles has significantly reduced casualties for Ukrainian civilians and their defenders," Blinken said in a statement. "Ukrainian law enforcement officers remain resilient, motivated and determined to carry out their wide-ranging law enforcement missions and support for innocent civilians in towns and cities facing continuous Russian shelling."

Some of these funds will go toward U.S. support for Kyiv's efforts to document, investigate and prosecute crimes committed by Russia amid its war, Blinken said.

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According to the State Department, the United States has committed more than $645 million to Ukraine's law enforcement and criminal justice partners since December.

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Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, and the United States and its allies have responded with repeated rounds of sanctions and other punitive measures targeting the Kremlin while financially supporting Kyiv.

Amid the war, the United States has given Ukraine more than $15.1 billion in security assistance and more than $15.8 billion since January 2021, according a fact sheet from the State Department.

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"The United States stands side-by-side with the Ukrainian people and remains committed to support a democratic, independent and sovereign Ukraine," the United States' top diplomat said.

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