The Biden administration announced Thursday morning it will accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s war in Ukraine.
In a statement provided to American Military News, the White House said, “Today, the United States is announcing plans to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russia’s aggression through the full range of legal pathways, including the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.”
The statement said the administration is also “working to expand and develop new programs with a focus on welcoming Ukrainians who have family members in the United States.”
Aside from providing refuge, the administration is also providing $1 billion in new funding for humanitarian assistance to support the Ukrainian people, as well as $320 million for “democracy and human rights funding to Ukraine and its neighbors.”
The administration has previously provided $1 billion in assistance to Ukraine and deployed a 25-person humanitarian response team to the region to assist with refugees’ humanitarian needs. Over the past year, the administration also provided $1.1 billion in “economic, health, democracy and human rights, and humanitarian assistance to the Europe and Eurasia region.”
The statement also said the administration is providing $11 billion over the next five years to combat global “food security threats and malnutrition” through “programming in many of the countries vulnerable to increases in food and fertilizer prices.”
The actions came a day after the U.S. State Department formally declared Russia had committed “war crimes” in Ukraine.
“Today, I can announce that, based on information currently available, the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Wednesday.
The White House also announced on Thursday new sanctions on 400 Russian individuals and entities, including elites, the Duma and hundreds of its members, and defense companies. The new sanctions add to sanctions previously enacted on 200 Russian targets, now raising the total to 600.
The 400 targets consist of:
- 328 Duma members and the Duma itself.
- Herman Gref, a Putin advisor since the 1990s and current head of Russia’s largest financial institution Sberbank.
- Russian elite Gennady Timchenko, his companies and his family members.
- 17 board members of Russian financial institution Sovcombank.
- 48 Large Russian defense state-owned firms of Russia’s defense-industrial base that produce weapons that have been used in Russia’s assault against Ukraine.
The administration lauded its “unprecedented” sanctions against Russia which have caused Russia’s currency, the ruble, to depreciate “substantially” and expected to “weaken further.”
“The economy is forecast to contract as much as 15 percent or more in 2022. This economic collapse of Russia’s GDP will wipe out the past 15 years of economic gains in Russia, according to the Institute for International Finance,” the statement said.