U.S. President Joe Biden has announced an additional $2.98 billion in military aid to Ukraine. The August 24 announcement came as Ukrainians were marking 31 years of national independence and six months of war against Russian invaders.

Biden said he was sending Ukraine "approximately $2.98 billion of weapons and equipment." He added: "This will allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems, and munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and radars to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term." The assistance would be coming through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, the President said.

During the War in Ukraine, "thousands have been killed or wounded, millions have been displaced from their homes, and so many others have fallen victim to Russian atrocities and attacks," the President observed. Biden's statement can be found at the White House website. Biden repeated his support for the Ukrainians on Twitter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had "launched an unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Ever since, Ukraine has fought back with ferocity, courage, and effectiveness," recalled Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

"Ukraine will remain sovereign and independent," Blinken added. He said American support for the country was "unwavering." Blinken's remarks can be read in their entirety on the State Department website.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin gave details of the new aid for Ukraine on Twitter. He said Ukraine would receive six more National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, laser-guided rocket systems, and as many as 24 counter-artillery radars. Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and equipment for Scan Eagle UAS systems would also be provided, Austin said.

Artillery and mortar ammunition would be given, he added.

The New York Times reported that the $2.98 billion in assistance was part of a $40 billion aid package that had received congressional approval in May.

Summarizing the toll which the war has taken on Ukraine, the newspaper said the deaths of 5,587 civilians had been confirmed, but the total number of civilians killed was thought "to be in the tens of thousands." More than 6.6 million people had been made refugees and roughly 9,000 of the country's soldiers had perished, the paper tweeted.

The death toll for Russian soldiers was as high as 25,000, it added.

Boris Johnson returns to Kyiv

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to Kyiv for Ukrainian Independence Day. "What happens in Ukraine matters to us all," he tweeted. "That is why I am in Kyiv today. That is why the UK will continue to stand with our Ukrainian friends. I believe Ukraine can and will win this war."

Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen

The office of the European Union in the U.S.

took to Twitter to recall the work that Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen were doing in Ukraine. The office tweeted that the chef and his organization had "worked tirelessly to provide much-needed meals to those on the ground" since the start of the war. The post includes a link to a podcast with an interview of the chef.

That same day, CBS reported that a Russian attack on a train station in eastern Ukraine had left at least 15 people dead and 50 wounded. The video report of the attack on the station in the city of Chaplyne has been posted on YouTube.