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8 Apr, 2024 23:21

Ukraine ‘losing the war’ – US Senate leader

Kiev is “desperate” for American funding, Chuck Schumer has warned
Ukraine ‘losing the war’ – US Senate leader

Ukraine is failing on the battlefield because of a lack of American funding, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday. He demanded the House Republicans pass the $61 billion aid bill as soon as possible.

Schumer, a New York Democrat, brought up Ukraine in a speech about the upcoming US legislative agenda. The Democrat-majority Senate passed the funding proposal in mid-February, but the Republican-majority House has not voted on it yet.

“The situation in Ukraine is desperate,” Schumer said, claiming that the funding bill has been “collecting dust” for 55 days while “our friends in Ukraine fight and die on the battlefield with no support.” With each passing day, Ukraine is running out of more soldiers, ammunition and hope, he added.

“Let’s be blunt: the biggest reason Ukraine is losing the war is because the hard-right in the Congress has paralyzed the US from acting. That’s it, that’s the reason,” Schumer said.

By passing the bill, House Speaker Mike Johnson would “do the right thing for Ukraine, for America, and for democracy,” the New York Democrat argued. Otherwise, he claimed, the Republicans would hand a “large victory” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Schumer made much the same argument while visiting Ukraine in late February, claiming that if Kiev gets the money, “they will win the war and beat Russia.”

Democrats have sought to split the GOP into “moderates” and “MAGA Republicans” – referring to former US President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ – to get support for their legislative agenda in both chambers of Congress. The tactic has paid off in the Senate, where 22 Republicans voted in favor of funding Ukraine, more than offsetting three Democrats who were opposed.

Republicans currently have a razor-thin majority in the 435-member House, with 218 seats to the Democrats’ 213. Johnson became speaker in late October, after a group of disgruntled GOP lawmakers voted to oust his predecessor Kevin McCarthy for striking a secret deal with the Democrats to pass Ukraine funding.

The US has provided Ukraine with $113 billion in various forms of assistance since the start of hostilities. Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms shipments to Ukraine, saying these will only prolong the conflict, while making the West a direct participant in the hostilities.