Best response to Putin's destructive salvo would be for U.S. to approve Ukraine aid - WP

Best response to Putin's destructive salvo would be for U.S. to approve Ukraine aid - WP

The Kremlin leader uses terms of violence and directs missiles and drones at peaceful Ukrainian cities, so the best U.S. response to these attacks would be a compromise in Congress that will allow aid to Ukraine and Israel.

That's according to an article published by The Washington Post, Ukrinform reports.

"The grim toll comes as a reminder that President Vladimir Putin of Russia enters the new year with the same old objective: to crush Ukraine's sovereignty along with the country's hopes to become a democracy affiliated closely with the European Union and, eventually, NATO," the article reads, referring to Russia's latest massive aerial attack against Ukrainian cities.

At the same time, it says that "through the terms he understands best" - violence - Putin is expressing his confidence that he has weathered Ukrainian military resistance and Western economic sanctions, and his belief that Western attention and resolve are bound to waver.

Ukrainians are increasingly worried about what comes next. Military and economic assistance from the EU and the United States has stalled. In Brussels, the problem is obstruction by Hungary's Moscow-friendly president, Viktor Orban. In Washington, the problem is Congress, where Republicans, demanding border-security measures, are holding up President Biden's request for a $110 billion supplemental appropriation, including $61.4 billion for Ukraine.

"The best answer to Mr. Putin's latest destructive salvo is for Congress and the White House to buckle down and strike a compromise that will allow aid to Ukraine and Israel, and a package for the southern border," the article said.

Absent congressional action, pressure will grow for the United States and Europe to seize $300 billion in frozen Russian assets and turn them over to Ukraine. "This move, which carries its own risks to the financial system, might eventually be necessary to fund the reconstruction of Ukraine, but it would be far preferable at this point for Congress to approve the supplemental appropriation for war materiel and economic support," the article reads.

The article also draws attention to the battlefield situation in Ukraine. Though backed by Western supplies, Ukraine's 2023 counteroffensive fell far short of the hoped-for large-scale expulsion of Russian troops. There's no denying that this disappointment had an impact on Ukraine's morale. Still, it would be wrong to conclude that Ukraine lacks either the will or the capability to fight effectively. On December 26, Kyiv's forces destroyed a large Russian landing ship, the Novocherkassk, in port at Feodosia in Russian-occupied Crimea, causing dozens of casualties. This was followed by the Russian missile attack on Ukraine's cities. Ukraine retaliated with an attack on Belgorod, near the Ukraine border. Amid the fighting, Ukraine has managed to protect a vital Black Sea corridor for its grain exports.

"What Ukraine needs now are longer-range attack missiles and F-16 air power, continued supply of air defenses, as well as a steady stream of artillery shells and ammunition," the article said.

In addition, the West has to choke off the supply chains and cash that are propping up Russia's ruinous war.

"A long struggle looms, which the Russian president would never consider ending on any terms unless he knows that Ukraine has the steady military support of its friends in the West," the article reads.

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