Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the Global Data Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict

The US Senate has approved a $1.5tn government funding bill, that includes approximately $13.6bn in aid for Ukraine.

The bill, passed with a 68-31 majority, will fund the federal government through to September, preventing a shutdown as existing funds were due to expire this week.

The $13.6bn aid for Ukraine will be used to further increase military and humanitarian support, as its ongoing conflict with Russia enters its third week.

Ahead of the vote, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer was quoted by CNBC as saying: “We’re giving the Ukrainians billions for food, medicine, shelter, and support for the over two million refugees who have had to leave Ukraine, as well as funding for weapons transfers like Javelins, and Stingers.”

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The bill was already approved by the House of Representatives, the lower house of the US Congress, and now awaits US President Joe Biden’s signature to become a law.

The US and other Western allies have been sending military and humanitarian aid, to Ukraine after Russia launched a military operation against the country. This includes increasing its presence in Nato countries in Europe.

Russia has used thermobaric weapons in Ukraine, according to the UK.

In a Twitter post, the UK Ministry of Defence said that Russia has confirmed using the TOS-1A weapon system in Ukraine.

The weapons system uses thermobaric rockets to create incendiary and blast effects. A thermobaric weapon, also called a vacuum bomb, uses oxygen to trigger a high-temperature explosion. Such explosions typically generate a blast wave with a longer duration, compared to that of a conventional explosive, Sky News said.