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Ukraine's President, Vladimir Zelenskyy, says he's grateful to the US House of Representatives for passing a $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine following months of delays. The bill contains much-needed ammunition and air defenses for Kyiv. President Zelensky said thousands of lives would be saved and that both the Ukraine and the US would emerge stronger. The Kremlin said the bill would cost more lives. Here's our North America Correspondent, Nomiya Iqbal.


Well, Rajini, after months of political divisions, of delays and dire warnings from President Biden, from members of the Democratic Party, as well as Ukrainian officials. The bill actually passed pretty comfortably through the House of Representatives. The next step is, of course, the Senate. There may be some internal political fallout for the Republican Party, but for Ukraine, this is seen as a lifeline.


On this vote, the aes are 311 and the nays are 112. The bill is passed.


This moment has been a long time coming. After more than six months, a bill pledging further military aid for Ukraine finally passed.


Today, we have got the decision we were waiting for on the American support for a report package for which we fought so hard. President Zelenskyy, how is your meeting?


President Zelenskyy had personally met with US lawmakers to lobby for support. Many in Congress waved Ukrainian flags during voting, but there were still divisions, with members of the Democratic Party back in Kyiv, others in the Republican Party, not so much.


But this is the sell out of America today. When we had members of Congress in there waving the Ukrainian flag on the United States House of Representatives floor. While we're doing nothing to secure our border, I think every American in this country should be furious.


For the House Speaker, Republican Mike Johnson felt differently, essentially putting his job on the line to get the bill approved.


It's an old military adage, but we would rather send bullets to the conflict overseas than our own boys, our troops. I think this is an important moment, an important opportunity to make that decision.


Ukraine says it desperately needs help to push back Russian troops. The US is already the largest provider of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, sending over $74 billion in the first two years of the war. This This new bill provides more than 60 billion, including money to replenish stocks. Almost $14 billion will be used to buy advanced weapons and defense articles.


The passing of this bill is a major bipartisan moment, something you just don't often see in Washington. The next step is for it to get through the Senate next week, which won't be too difficult because it's Democrat-controlled. President Biden will then sign it into law.


The House will be in order.


Russia has described this as direct support for terrorist activities, but President Biden said it was important in answering history's call.


Officials here say military aid is ready to go, with weapons now expected to reach the battlefield in less than a week. Just on that point, we do understand that there are some weapons, particularly munitions, that are ready to go very soon. They are stored in parts of Europe. President Biden will want to get this done ASAP. He has been waiting for this moment for some time now.


Indeed. Of course, a lot of this was also on the speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, who ended up in the end pushing that vote through after many months where you had a lot of Republicans, not a lot, but you had a significant number of Republicans resisting.


That's right. He had a change of heart. I think it's worth mentioning that the former President, Donald Trump, gave him a vote of confidence. Mr. Trump hasn't said much about the bill so far. I suspect he's got big fish to fright at the moment with his first criminal trial underway in New York. But we'll see what happens to the speaker because there are members of the Republican Party, more to the far right, who are furious at what's happened. You saw there in the report, the Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Green, who are threatening to now oust him. Whether or not that happens, we'll see. Remember, it's an election year. Do the Republicans want more chaos this year, as we saw at the time when Kevin McCarthy was ousted. But it was a big move by Mr. Johnson, who is being praised by the Democratic Party. There are, of course, some Republicans who aren't, won't We're really happy about that.


Nomia, there was a lot going on in Congress overnight, wasn't there, of course. Another development that it's important we discuss is, of course, that ban on TikTok or the plan. There's certainly a lot of members of Congress who've been pushing for that social media site, TikTok, to be banned.


Yeah, there were several bills being proposed, and TikTok was part of a fourth bill, a grab bag of policies, and it snuck in. I think there was a feeling by certainly members of the Republican Party that if they put that in, then it would get a top-down vote from Congress. President Biden has indicated that if that does land on his desk, he will sign it, but it's hugely controversial. There are millions and millions of Americans who are on TikTok, and I've met many who have been protesting outside the White House, certainly during the time when this bill was being proposed, who have said, Look, this isn't just some app that we have fun on. My business is on there, my livelihood is on there. It's how I make money. And so they are very angry that this could potentially be banned. It has a few clauses in it however, the bill. What will happen, really, if it does pass, is that President Biden will give the company, give TikTok the opportunity to sell off to someone else or be banned. There will be some stages there, but it is seen as a pretty controversial bill, especially as far as the American public go.


And, Nomi, before you go, just one more question on that. I mean, this is all in an election year, and the irony might be that you've even seen President Biden join TikTok in recent months.


Well, that was something that really came up by a lot of Americans who said, if you're telling us that TikTok is unsafe, and this is the argument that lawmakers make, is that they're not convinced that the data that you put on TikTok isn't then sent off to the Chinese government, something that TikTok completely denies, then why are you on TikTok? It is seen as hugely hypocritical, of course, but we'll see how far that gets. As I say, there are a few stages in that bill, so it might not be that it's outright banned.


That's the BBC's Nomi Iqbalva in Washington, DC, wrapping up developments from Capitol Hill. Now, let's speak to the BBC's James Waterhouse, who's live in Kyiv for US. James, the question I want to know is how much of a game changer is this additional aid going to be?


Well, I don't think we'll see a drastic changing of the dynamics on the front line, but it does allow to Ukraine to potentially do more than hang on. When you look at, we don't have much in the way of specifics yet on what the US is going to provide in this bill, but it's thought to be artillery shells, lots of them, the scale at which only the US can provide medium range missiles, and you can assume that there will be other weapons systems and armored vehicles, too. But at the moment, when you're near the front line, you hear the rumbling of artillery. It's mostly coming from Russian forces. When you look occur towns like Chazivya, which are increasingly becoming encircled. It is the Russians who are enjoying air superiority, flying in with their fighter jets and bombers, reasonably unch, because Ukrainian troops have been unable to use air defense systems, or launch missiles of their own, even on Russian supply loans. Over the past six months where we've seen this political delay, Russia has just been gaining momentum. It's interesting when you're here and you see a democratic process 5,000 miles away, it's quite poignant to think about the significance and what is at stake for Ukraine.


It's very existence, potentially. You can be sure Vladimir Putin doesn't have to go through the same political rigmarole when he is making decisions on how to continue his invasion. Look, this is an undeniable boost for Ukraine, and it's a big one in a war of late where there have been very few for Kyiv. The question is now is when it will arrive and what difference it will make. But the challenge, I think, with President Zelensky is trying to keep politics out of the fighting because there is an upcoming US presidential election where continued American support is far from assured. And so the pressure for him will be to try and deliver some tangible goal or success to present back to his Western allies.


James, would you see this funding as a success in terms of the way that President Zelensky's handle things diplomatically, or actually in some ways a failure because it's taken so long?


Yes and no. I think President Zelensky's abilities as a diplomat should be, well, will likely be lauded by historians. When you look at how he has allowed his Western ally, shall we say, he walked them down, allowed them to gain in confidence. We've seen countries like Germany to go from hospitals and helmets to leopard tanks and long-range missiles which have been used on Russian targets. But I think of late, we have seen Ukraine point out a double standard where Western allies with Russia's invasion, have been worried about Vladimir Putin escalating, a country with a huge nuclear arsenal, but have been less afraid, if you like, when it comes to intervention in the Israel-Ghaza war. So there There are some parallels being created, but I think it always boils down for Ukraine. What always boils down is timing, the amount of time it has taken for that aid to arrive. It's found itself in this deadly cycle, where after its failed counteroffensive last year, where minimal territory really was taken back at a cost of men and Western machinery, President Zelensky was denied that case in point to present back to the likes of Washington. Then that in turn has fed skepticism.


You can win this war, and then you have the war in the Middle East as well. It's becoming increasingly more so there is as much a stake as there ever was, and this aid will be well.


Okay, James Waterhouse in a rainy Kyiv. Thank you very much for sharing your analysis. Apologies for the break up in the line there, which we think was due to the weather.