There is no doubt that the situation in Ukraine is becoming increasingly difficult. After the overlap of American aid the Russians already have a huge advantage in the number of artillery shells fired. But the problem is wider.
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“The stockpile of anti-aircraft missiles in the Ukrainian army is constantly decreasing. If they are not replenished in the near future, they will be enough until March.” – writes the New York Times with reference to anonymous American officials.
Sources of the newspaper and Western military analysts warn that without the help of the United States, a cascading collapse of the front line is possible already this year. They say it will be at least a few more months before the lack of aid has a bigger impact. But without it, they note, it is difficult to imagine how Ukraine will be able to maintain its current positions 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 Armed Forces may find it difficult to repulse Russian attacks.
NYT sources, however, say it will also be difficult for Moscow to quickly build up enough capacity for a large-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine. The interlocutors of the newspaper assume that the Russian troops, most likely, will 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 Oleksandr Syrskyi, will have to face grim calculations and decide when the costs of defending the territory will outweigh the benefits of harming the enemy.
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 Donetsk region, whose defense was bought by terrible losses.
Ukraine found itself in a difficult situation due to the fact that it was left without military aid from the United States. Washington cannot provide it because of disagreements in Congress. Last week, the US Senate voted to approve a package of measures to support Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. This happened the day after a bill that would have tied these measures to immigration reform was rejected.
The draft law voted in the Senate foresees a total of 95 billion dollars in additional budget expenditures, of which 60.06 billion are related to aid to Ukraine. This amount includes almost 20 billion for the replacement in the US arsenal of military equipment transferred to Ukraine, 13.8 billion for the purchase of weapons for Ukraine and 14.8 billion for military training and intelligence support. In addition, the project authorizes the president to transfer $8 billion worth of equipment 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 aid and 1.5 billion to help build an independent Ukrainian economy in the future in priority sectors, including transport and energy.
Despite the fact that the Senate took a key step to allocate funds for Ukraine, the fate of the package remains uncertain. The next step is for the Senate to consider the amendments and only then vote on the final approval.
Military analysts claim, as quoted by the New York Times, that without the aforementioned help, 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 aid to Ukraine, are unlikely to be able to compensate for the shortage of supplies from America.
Earlier, American experts calculated how long will Ukraine last without the help of the West, noting that she could lose in a matter of weeks or months.
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