There is no doubt that the situation in Ukraine is becoming increasingly complex. After cutting off American aid, the Russians already have a huge advantage in the number of artillery shells fired. But the problem is broader.
“The stocks of anti-aircraft missiles in the Ukrainian army are constantly decreasing. If they are not replenished soon, they will last until March,” – writes the New York Times, citing anonymous American officials.
The newspaper’s sources and Western military analysts warn that without US help, a cascading collapse of the front line is possible as early as this year. They argue it will be at least several more months before the lack of aid has a greater impact. But without it, they note, it is difficult to imagine how Ukraine will be able to maintain its current position at the front.
American officials and military analysts say that in this situation it will be difficult for Kyiv to launch local counterattacks. By early summer, the Ukrainian Armed Forces may find it difficult to repel Russian attacks.
NYT sources, however, argue that it will be difficult for Moscow to quickly build up enough capabilities for a large-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine. The newspaper’s interlocutors suggest that Russian troops will most likely advance clumsily and chaotically, suffering heavy losses.
In this situation, American journalists note, the new commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Alexander Syrsky, will have to face grim calculations and decide when the costs of defending a territory outweigh the benefits gained from harming the enemy.
The NYT notes that the new head of the Ukrainian army has faced this problem more than once, but his critics point out that his decisions have not always been accurate. They cite the example of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, whose defense was bought with terrible losses.
Ukraine found itself in a difficult situation due to the fact that it was left without military assistance from the United States. Washington cannot provide it due to disagreements in Congress. Last week, the US Senate voted to approve a package of measures in support of Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. This comes a day after a bill linking the measures to immigration reform was defeated.
The bill voted in the Senate provides for a total of $95 billion in additional budget expenditures, of which $60.06 billion is associated with assistance from Ukraine. This amount includes almost 20 billion for the replacement of military equipment transferred to Ukraine in the US arsenals, 13.8 billion for the purchase of weapons for Ukraine and 14.8 billion for military training and intelligence support. In addition, the project gives the president the authority to transfer equipment worth $8 billion to Ukraine and other countries in the region and provide $1.6 billion in loans or grants for the purchase of American weapons. The package also includes 7.85 billion in financial assistance and 1.5 billion to help develop an independent Ukrainian economy in the future in priority sectors, including transport and energy.
Although the Senate took a key step towards appropriating funds for Ukraine, the fate of the package remains uncertain. The next step is that the Senate will consider the amendments and only then vote on final adoption.
Military analysts argue, as quoted by the New York Times, that without the aforementioned assistance, Ukraine may not be suddenly defeated by Russia, but the degradation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be inexorable. At the same time, European countries, which also provide assistance to Ukraine, are unlikely to be able to compensate for the shortage of supplies from America.
Earlier, American experts calculated how long Ukraine could hold out without Western help, noting that it could lose in a matter of weeks or months.
Read also: “This is in our direct national security interests”: what Biden said about aid to Ukraine
I am Joseph Zeman, a journalist who mostly covers world news for the Daily News Hack. I pride myself on being able to find and report stories that others might miss. I have a knack for being able to see both sides of every issue and this allows me to provide readers with well-rounded stories. In addition to my work as a journalist, I am also an author and have written several books on current affairs.