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Ukraine Welcomes U.S. Aid Vote Amid Fears of Russia’s Retaliation

In Ukraine, relief over U.S. aid vote — and fear over what an angry Russia will do next

The U.S. House of Representatives’ approval of a $61 billion aid package for Ukraine was met with relief by Ukrainians, as it broke a legislative deadlock that had exacerbated hardships on the war’s front lines. The aid is expected to be swiftly delivered pending approval from the Senate and President Biden, which analysts believe could potentially reverse Russian forces’ recent momentum. However, Ukrainians are prepared for intensified attacks in the short term, particularly due to the depletion of air defenses.

President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed gratitude for the aid, acknowledging its life-saving significance. Despite frustrations over delays, Zelensky refrained from criticism and focused on the positive impact of U.S. support. He highlighted the opportunity to stabilize the situation, particularly in the embattled Donbas region.

Ukrainian officials are particularly concerned about the systematic destruction of critical infrastructure, such as energy facilities. The aid package is expected to prioritize replenishing munitions used by Ukrainian forces, crucial for defending against Russian aggression along the extensive front lines.

Ukraine Welcomes U.S. Aid Vote Amid Fears of Russia's Retaliation

Ukraine Welcomes U.S. Aid Vote Amid Fears of Russia’s Retaliation (Credits: Atlantic Council)

While the aid’s approval is seen as a crucial step, there are concerns that Ukrainian forces may face additional setbacks while waiting for resupplies. Independent military analysts have noted incremental advances by Russian forces, underscoring the urgency of prompt assistance delivery.

Russia has criticized the aid, framing it as prolonging a bloody conflict and benefiting U.S. weapons manufacturers. However, some U.S. lawmakers argue that supporting Ukraine is vital to prevent signaling weakness to Moscow, especially after recent geopolitical challenges like the situation in Afghanistan.

Zelensky believes the aid sends a strong message of support to Russia and reassures Ukraine that it won’t face a fate similar to Afghanistan. European allies, though exasperated by the aid’s delay, have expressed unity and optimism, recognizing the importance of supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression. Many Ukrainians see this aid not just as a matter of their own safety but as crucial for democracy and global security.

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