Highlights:

  • US President Joe Biden’s 2025 $7.3 Trillion Budget Reiterates Funding for Ukraine
  • Kyiv observes rise in adolescent hospitalizations from substance use and suicide attempts
  • Zelensky touts Ukrainians’ contribution to war effort, says stated award handed to over 70,000 people
  • Drone attack damages civilian infrastructure in Vinnytsia, killing at least one person
  • US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to personally attend next Ramstein meeting to address Ukraine aid

United States President Joe Biden unveiled his budget draft for 2025 to the bi-cameral Congress for consideration totaling more than $7 trillion dollars and earmarks funding for Ukraine, including 155-millimeter shells for which Kyiv has been hankering to withstand Russia’s ongoing onslaught.

US President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 13, 2024.Brendan Smialowski / AFP

“The United States will not be able to continue to provide support to Ukraine to meet their battlefield needs as they defend against Russian attacks every day,” if additional funding isn’t found, a White House statement said on March 14.

The budget also calls for the establishment of new factories to boost defense capacities as Washington wants to send more materiel to Israel and Taiwan as well.

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A public service announcement by the Kyiv city government warned parents or rising numbers of underage children who have been admitted to hospitals for substance abuse and suicide attempts since 2022 when Russia’s full-fledged invasion started.

Photo: AFP

Cases of alcohol or narcotics abuse have risen 2.5 percent since that year, said Valentyna Ginzburg, the Ukrainian capital’s director of healthcare on March 14.

If in 2023, Kyiv hospitals recorded 174 cases of adolescents being admitted for alcohol treatment, the previous year had 64 accepted, she said.

“We are talking about poisoning with medicines, alcohol, narcotic substances and, the worst, about child suicides,” Ginzburg said.

NATO Needs to Get its Act Together Now, Before it’s Too Late
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NATO Needs to Get its Act Together Now, Before it’s Too Late

With the US dithering, the implications need to be recognized and decisive action taken to avoid disaster in the shape of a Russian victory in Ukraine.

She partially blamed “adults” in the statement for leaving underage children “unattended.”

Suicide rates have also risen, especially among 14-16-year-olds Ginzburg said.

Ambulances were dispatched 135 times to address suicide attempts last year in Kyiv, whereas in in 2022, there were 93 responses for the same reason.

President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated his gratitude to “the entire state…who are now preserving strengthening our positions,” in his nightly address to the nation amid an unjustified, unprovoked war by Russia that is entering its 11th year.

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A total of 73,750 Ukrainians have received state awards that “is only a part of the heroism our people,” he said.

At least one civilian was killed and four injured, following a Russian drone attack that targeted the central Vinnytsia region, Gov. Serhiy Borzov said on his Telegram channel.

Ukrainian news outlet Suspilne also reported explosions occurred in neighboring Khmelnytskyi region.

The Pentagon announced that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will depart on March 18 to Germany to attend a meeting with representatives from nearly 50 nations in Ramstein for a 20th meeting “to discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine and reiterate that the United States and this coalition continue to stand with the people of Ukraine.”

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin takes part in a welcome ceremony for Latvia’s Defense Minister Andris Spruds at the Pentagon in Washington, DC on March 14, 2024.Mandel NGAN / AFP

He also on March 14 met with Latvian Defense Minister Andris Spruds in Washington “where they discussed regional bilateral defense issues, NATO’s deterrence capabilities and the situation in Ukraine.

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