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President Joe Biden will host America’s top military leaders for an annual dinner at the White House on Wednesday, an event coming as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to escalate.
The Joint Chiefs will arrive for a formal meeting with Biden and then participate in a private dinner along with their spouses. The group will discuss a “variety of topics” a National Security Council spokesperson told Reuters.
The meeting comes as Russia has redoubled its efforts to take over Ukraine following a brief respite as it repositioned forces earlier in April.
Biden approved an $800 million military aid package for Ukraine, supplying the country with weapons critical to its defense effort.
“This new package of assistance will contain many of the highly effective weapons systems we have already provided and new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine,” Biden said in a statement.
President Joe Biden waves as he walks to speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One at Des Moines International Airport, in Des Moines Iowa, Tuesday, April 12, 2022, en route to Washington. Biden said that Russia’s war in Ukraine amounted to a “genocide,” accusing President Vladimir Putin of trying to “wipe out the idea of even being a Ukrainian.”(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (AP)
“The steady supply of weapons the United States and its allies and partners have provided to Ukraine has been critical in sustaining its fight against the Russian invasion,” Biden added. “It has helped ensure that Putin failed in his initial war aims to conquer and control Ukraine. We cannot rest now.”
While the U.S. has not deployed troops to directly assist Ukraine’s defense, the U.S. military is training and equipping Ukrainian forces as well as providing intelligence assistance.
The U.S. has also deployed troops to nearby NATO countries, including Poland. Biden has warned that any move by Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade a NATO member country would be met with the full force of the U.S. military.