Home News Ukrainians nervously await whether U.S. will deliver critical aid

Ukrainians nervously await whether U.S. will deliver critical aid

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From bloody trenches on battlefields to crowded cities bombed by Russia, millions of Ukrainians wait nervously as Congress prepares to decide after months of delays whether the United States will resume critical military support for their country.

Private Pavlo Kaliuk, who had been working to slow the Russian advance after the fall of the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdievka earlier this year, was on his way to join a man who had been killed in action when the call came on Friday On the way to a soldier’s funeral.

“As I walked, I thought, maybe my friend who died in the war, now in heaven, will help the world and the United States support Ukraine,” he said.

Ukraine cannot rely on divine intervention; instead, it is counting on the House of Representatives to approve a $60 billion aid package on Saturday.

President Volodymyr Zelensky made this clear when he said this week that his country could not win the war without U.S. support. CIA Director William J. Burns was more blunt when asked what would happen if the United States did not resume military aid.

“I think that by the end of 2024, the Ukrainians will probably be defeated on the battlefield, or at least put Putin in a position where he can basically dictate the terms of a political settlement,” he said in remarks Thursday at the Bush Center Leadership Forum in Dallas. superior.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said there was “no backup plan” if aid measures failed.

“There was so much controversy and debate around this bill – and there still will be – so let’s wait for the outcome,” he told reporters.

At a gathering on the island of Capri on Friday, representatives of the Group of Seven, a group of the world’s richest democracies, vowed to find ways to support Ukraine, particularly by strengthening its air defense capabilities, to save civilian lives and protect the country. country’s infrastructure.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the military alliance had collected data on available air defense systems and was working to redeploy some to Ukraine.

“It is now necessary to ensure that we have a more robust and institutionalized framework to support Ukraine,” he told reporters in Italy.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, also speaking in Italy, said “Putin thinks he can wait for Ukraine, wait for Ukraine’s support.”

“Capri is sending a message: He can’t,” the secretary said.

Congress has not approved new military support for Ukraine since October. Although the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to provide $60 billion to Ukraine and aid to Israel and Taiwan, the bill has stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Republican Speaker Mike Johnson broke the package into a series of bills in an attempt to bypass members of his own party who are staunchly opposed to helping Ukraine.

Pentagon officials have said that if the strategy works and the measures are approved, military supplies could begin flowing into Ukraine immediately.

Although the debate in Washington has ended for the past six months, the momentum of the war has clearly shifted in Moscow’s favor. The civilian death toll is also rising as Ukraine runs out of anti-aircraft interceptor missiles used to defend against Russia’s daily air strikes on critical infrastructure in densely populated cities.

At least seven civilians, including two children, were killed in missile attacks in the Dnipro region on Friday, including one that struck near the city’s main train station. Four other civilians were killed in shelling in villages near the frontline in eastern Ukraine, officials said.

Foreign Minister Kuleba called U.S. aid “a matter of life and death,” adding, “In a broader sense, this is about Ukraine’s survival.”

In interviews with soldiers and civilians across the country during the two-year war, Ukrainians often asserted steadfastly that their fight was part of a broader global struggle. They say failure to confront and defeat Russia now will mean more bloodshed later and that U.S. aid is not a handout but serves U.S. strategic and economic interests.

“Our planet is very small and we all depend on each other,” said Private Kalyuk. “Those who think this war does not belong to them are wrong.”

Pavlo Velichko, an officer with the Homeland Defense Brigade operating near the Russian border, said renewed U.S. support would go beyond providing much-needed ammunition and advanced weapons systems.

It would boost morale at a time when Ukraine’s military is struggling and exhausted.

“The positive results of the vote will be felt by everyone in the Armed Forces,” he said. “From Soldier to Officer.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainians have made clear they will keep fighting.

The Ukrainian military said on Friday that it destroyed a Russian Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bomber involved in Friday’s attack, which would be the first time a strategic bomber has been successfully destroyed in the air during a combat mission.

While this claim cannot be independently confirmed, the Russian Governor of the Stavropol Territory comfirmed A bomber crashed about 185 miles from Ukraine.

It is unclear what weapons Ukraine might have used to bring down the bomber; Kyiv has been working to expand its long-range weapons arsenal and strengthen its domestic arms industry.

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