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Faltering Will to Aid Ukraine
Connor Chung

Dec 14, 2023

Investigating Congress' hold on Ukraine's funds.

As the war in Ukraine drags on, more and more funding is required. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer labeled the GOP position as “hostage taking” after Republicans blocked a $110 billion dollar foreign aid package — a package primarily intended for Ukraine and Israel.

The stall has stoked fears that the political will to keep Ukraine afloat might be suffering fatigue among lawmakers in Washington, endangering Ukraine's chances of staying in the fight. 

President Biden urged congress to act quickly to secure the aid necessary for Ukraine to successfully stem the Russian advance, stating that a lack of aid could result in a direct military confrontation with Russia if it were to win an all out victory and continue its march westward. Time is of the essence, with the White House warning that the U.S. will be unable to continue its supply of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine if a deal isn’t struck before the end of the year. That gives Congress roughly 3 weeks to sort the details and discrepancies, with Republicans calling for more funding to secure the border with Mexico before aid to Ukraine and Israel can be discussed. 

The stakes for Ukraine are high. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has promised both the Ukrainian people and international backers that his forces are working overtime to recapture territory lost to Russia. Much of this ambition is contingent upon the continual flow of financial aid provided to keep Kiev's government and battered economy afloat.

Additionally, the majority of Ukraine’s success on the battlefield is directly tied to the advanced weapons systems provided by Washington. Many analysts speculate that a failure to provide Ukraine with further military hardware could result in a collapse of Kiev’s resistance and a full-fledged Russian victory. 

Zelensky’s administration has expressed recent difficulties associated with the deadlock on the country’s funds. Frontline soldiers in the Donbas have been forced to ration shells in their attempt to halt recent advances by Russian forces, suggesting an unsustainable rate of defense. Ukraine has voiced its concern over the quantity and quality of weapons being supplied, stating that any successful breakthrough of Russia’s defensive lines will require larger weapons systems and in greater numbers than previously received. 

The stalemate in Washington is no doubt a cause for celebration in Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin has re-geared his country’s economy towards supporting and sustaining a prolonged conflict. The Russians hold vast stocks of cold war era military equipment, which is outdated but functioning and able to be fielded in large numbers.

Ukraine’s successes have been largely contingent upon the political will of the West to continue footing the bill. With U.S. lawmakers growing uncertain about America’s capacity to spend, so does Ukraine about its own future. 

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