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Zelensky urges U.S. to send weapons quickly ahead of Russian offensive


After the House of Representatives passed a major military aid package for Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that Ukraine could repel an expected Russian offensive only if U.S. weapons arrived quickly.

Zelensky said his forces were preparing for a major battle in the east of the country, with Russia aiming to seize the city of Chasiv Yar by May 9, a day Russia commemorates the Soviet Union’s second The day of the victory over the Nazi armies in the World War.

Zelensky told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that his soldiers were outgunned and “lacked the equipment they need to fight Russian surveillance drones, which are basically direct their artillery. He said Ukrainian forces lacked long-range weapons of their own and lacked adequate air defense systems, adding that Ukraine had lost time and momentum while U.S. lawmakers debated the aid package.

“Our process has been stalled for half a year, and we have suffered losses in several directions, including in the east. It is very difficult and we have really lost the initiative,” Zelensky said. “Now we have every opportunity to stabilize the situation and take the initiative, which is why we need to actually have the weapons systems.”

The $60 billion aid package has stalled amid fierce infighting among Republicans over whether to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, which invaded Ukraine more than two years ago. Officials in Washington and Kiev warn that Ukrainian frontline forces are rationing rapidly evaporating arms stocks and that Moscow will soon have a 10-to-1 advantage in artillery rounds.

Notably, Zelensky did not give a timetable for when his troops would regain superiority on the battlefield after acquiring the weapons, nor did he say that the additional support would play a decisive role in the war.

“I think this support will really strengthen Ukraine’s armed forces and we will have a chance to win,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky thanked House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana), whose support for the plan has threatened his leadership, as well as President Joe Biden, and urged the Senate to take action to “sponsorship the plan as quickly as possible.” Ukraine is sending weapons so that we can “get some real assistance to soldiers on the front lines as soon as possible, rather than waiting another six months so they can move on.” ” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Saturday that the first vote on the $95 billion aid package will take place Tuesday afternoon.

The House of Representatives passed a $95 billion package on April 20 to aid Ukraine and Israel. (Video: Reuters)

U.S. officials said late last week that the Pentagon was “ready” to provide significant military aid to Ukraine after the aid package became law.One official, who like some others requested anonymity to discuss the Biden administration’s plans, said it would take less than a week Whether certain weapons reach the battlefield depends on where they are stored.

Zelensky has avoided any direct confrontation with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has said the United States should stop aiding Ukraine and pledged to quickly end the war if re-elected.

According to the Washington Post, Trump has said privately that he will pressure Ukraine to cede territory to Russia, which runs counter to the Biden administration’s policy of arming Ukraine to fight back against Russia.

Zelensky declined to comment on the report, but suggested that Trump and his advisers should understand that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not a credible negotiator. “They know you can never trust Putin. It’s impossible,” Zelensky said.

In Washington, Democratic and Republican lawmakers welcomed the House action and viewed U.S. aid as a bulwark against authoritarian regimes around the world.

“If you give Putin Ukraine, he’s not going to stop,” Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“If you give him Ukraine, Taiwan will disappear because China is watching what we do,” Graham said.

Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said on a news program that the aid sent a message to Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“I think the United States is on the offensive again,” Blumenthal said. “This shows that we can come together in a bipartisan way for our national security and send a message to Vladimir Putin, to Xi Jinping, to autocrats around the world: It’s not too early to pop the champagne. U.S. Democracy will be defended.

Graham criticized Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) for his opposition to Ukraine aid, underscoring tensions within his party and saying Vance needed to visit the country to better understand what’s at stake for the United States and its NATO allies.

“If you want American service members to stay out of the fight with Russia, then help Ukraine,” Graham said.

The comments echoed warnings from Zelensky and other leaders that if Russia succeeds in Ukraine, Putin will eventually invade another European country.

“If the Russians win this war in Ukraine, they will most likely start another war. [war] Because this is greedy Russian imperialism,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” tried to blame Biden for the unfolding of the war in Ukraine, saying “the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan is a very bad move.” Oops” [in 2021] Empowering Putin to invade Ukraine.

Sullivan acknowledged that he could not guarantee that Trump, a frequent critic of U.S. aid to other countries, would support Ukraine if he won in November. “No one can guarantee anything,” Sullivan said.

Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said action by the House was long overdue.

Ukrainians’ morale has always been high, but it has been weakened over the past few months as they have been handing out rations of bullets. He called for tougher sanctions against Russia and said China was “the worst offender of direct military support” to Russia.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) downplayed delays in aid to Ukraine and stressed that the plan passed with bipartisan support. “I’m sorry, democracy is a messy thing, but the reality is, it’s done,” he said on “Face the Nation.”


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