Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky links Mariupol setback to 'lack of weaponry'
- Zelensky agreed to use diplomacy to simmer tensions in Mariupol
- US will send security assistance to Ukraine "in very short order"
- So far, Ukraine has got $3 billion aid from US
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has attributed the bloodshed in Mariupol to a lack of "serious and heavy" weaponry to counter Russian forces. The city is now largely in control of Russia, media reports suggest.
With disrupted safe passages out of the South-Eastern port city, Zelensky suggested two ways to revive Ukraine's dominance in the city. These included: Diplomacy, which Russia has not agreed to; and flooding Ukrainian forces with enhanced weaponary, which lacks at the moment.
"It involves serious and heavy weapons […] at the moment we don't have enough of these weapons to free Mariupol. The second path is diplomatic. So far Russia hasn't agreed to this", the Ukrainian President said in a statement, CNN reported.
Speaking on behalf of the Ukrainian forces fighting in Mariupol, Zelensky said, "They want a free city, none of them are going to surrender to the enemy. This is their internal feeling, this is what they are." Zelensky was speaking in Kyiv alongside Charles Michel, the President of the European Council.
Zelensky's statement comes at the onset of another security assistance package announcement from the United States, which the White House said would be delivered "in very short order", CNN reported.
Senior officials of US President Joe Biden's administration have said that the package will be worth $800 million and will be directed towards fulfilling Ukraine's military needs.
The United States has separately provided a flurry of weapon resources to Ukraine so far, including artillery systems, artillery rounds, armored personnel carriers and unmanned coastal defense boats.
If the upcoming $800 million are added to the American aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded the Easter European country, the total comes to nearly $3 billion.