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Ukraine’s Assistance Package Might Stem Russia’s Progress towards Kyiv

President Volodymyr Zelensky has extended his appreciation to the US House of Representatives for endorsing a new $61 billion (£49 billion) military assistance package for Ukraine following months of delays. He emphasized that this aid has the potential to safeguard thousands of lives.

While it’s customary for a nation’s destiny to be shaped by its politicians, the notion that a nation’s survival depends on a vote occurring 5,000 miles away is as remarkable as it is unprecedented.

For Ukraine, the six-month wait for this military support has been both costly and exasperating, with dwindling ammunition resulting in casualties and territorial losses.

Amidst this period of scarce boosts for Kyiv, the arrival of American weaponry marks a significant development, empowering its embattled troops beyond mere survival. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that it’s not a panacea.

So, what does this package entail?

It’s anticipated to include air defense systems, mid to long-range missiles, and artillery shells. Ukraine’s recent shortage of these resources has allowed Russian forces to seize hundreds of additional square kilometers of territory.

Upon the arrival of this aid, Ukraine stands to potentially challenge Russia’s air dominance, disrupt their supply chains, and impede advancing troops.

For Vitaliy, a soldier currently serving whom we encountered in central Kyiv, focusing on the positives is paramount. “Every cent counts,” he asserts. “It’s immensely necessary. We require everything—every cartridge, every cent, every positive sentiment. We need it all.”

During my recent visit to the Donetsk region, soldiers mentioned that most of the artillery noises emanated from the Russian side. Cities like Kostyantynivka and Kramatorsk were preparing for what might come next. This assistance could be instrumental in safeguarding those cities.

Also Read: Under Fire: Kyiv Strikes Back – Bomber Shot Down 308km Inside Russia

While it won’t immediately grant Ukraine the capability to reclaim territory and repel Russian forces, it does provide a window of opportunity for such actions in the future.

Both in Kyiv and Washington, there’s a consensus that without this American assistance, Ukraine would be at a severe disadvantage.

‘Better late than never’

On a miserable Sunday morning, the warmth of the Kyiv metro will always beat the wet streets above. It’s where we meet Maxym, who’s pleased with the US aid finally being approved.

“I’m really happy about it,” he says. “I’m just a bit disappointed it took so long. Anyways, it’s better late than never.”

Maxym is frustrated by the growing debate over whether Ukraine should negotiate peace with Russia at the expense of territory.

“Russia doesn’t want to negotiate,” he explains. “They don’t want this middle ground that Europe and the US think will end this war. They want it all.”

We also meet a woman, Vita, holding her son’s hand and pulling him off a train. “How else can Ukraine survive without it?” she asks. “It can’t. We don’t have such an army and weapons.”

She then becomes emotional. “It’s impossible. We want help, for our children to survive, so we wait.” She nods towards her son.

The past six months have not only revealed Russia’s dominance, but Europe’s inability to provide the same level of support as the US.

“We need to think about the hypothetical eventuality the next package of US aid might not pass,” says Mykola Bieleskov, a research fellow at the Ukrainian National Institute for Strategic Studies.

“That’s why it’s up for the UK and continental Europe to increase weapon production to meet Ukraine’s requirements.”

As for a realistic goal this year for Kyiv, Mykola hopes this American aid will help stabilize the front lines.

Despite the return of Western unity it, the issue for Ukraine has always been the time it takes for help to arrive.

Russian President Vladimir Putin certainly doesn’t have to negotiate as many political hurdles when it comes to military spending.

Democratic delays aren’t exclusive to allies overseas – Ukraine has its issues with mobilizing enough men for its war effort. A controversial conscription law has just been passed after months of debating and amendments.

The challenge for President Zelensky now is keeping politics separate from the fighting. He’ll be under pressure to make this latest American offering count.

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