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US Aid Package Doing Next to Nothing in Ukraine

© AP Photo / Mauricio CampinoIn this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, Airmen and civilians from the 436th Aerial Port Squadron palletize ammunition, weapons and other equipment bound for Ukraine during a foreign military sales mission at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Jan. 21, 2022
In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, Airmen and civilians from the 436th Aerial Port Squadron palletize ammunition, weapons and other equipment bound for Ukraine during a foreign military sales mission at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Jan. 21, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.05.2024
On April 24, US President Joe Biden signed a massive $95 billion foreign aid bill which earmarked $61 billion for Ukraine. At the time, Biden promised shipments would begin “in the next few hours” but more than 10 days later, its effects on the battlefield have yet to materialize.
The lack of an impact of the latest US aid package to Ukraine on the frontlines can be boiled down to two things: It was never what it was billed to be, with estimates suggesting only $14 billion of the $61 billion are marked for new weapons and not simply refilling US stockpiles, and a complete lack of manpower that Ukraine can use on the front.
“The US aid package, first of all, wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. A lot of it is premised on orders for aid that still has to be actually produced,” international relations and security analyst Mark Sleboda told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Friday. “It might arrive in a couple years’ time and didn’t include some of the big things that the Kiev regime really needs [including] Patriot systems.”
“The US wasn't willing to part with any of its own Patriot systems. Evidently, it is pressuring hard its European allies, Greece, Italy and others, to give up their own air defense systems.”
Even Western media has had to admit Russian gains on the battlefield, both before and after the aid package passed, going as far as to call the recent gains a “breakthrough.”
In this handout video grab released by the Russian Defence Ministry, Ukrainian soldiers of the Azov battalion who have surrendered at the Azovstal steel plant walk on a road in the Russia-controlled port city of Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.04.2024
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Russia has made significant gains across the front line, particularly towards Ocheretino, North of Avdeyevka, where a military bloom seems to be taking place. Russian forces also expelled Ukrainian forces from Rabotino, the peak of Kiev’s failed counteroffensive from last year.
There has been a “sudden renewal of desperation” among Kiev’s Western benefactors since the aid has failed to make an impact, Sleboda explained, which prompted French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent saber-rattling around Ukraine. “We saw this [desperation] through February and March, and then there was a brief, maybe not even quite a week, of these absurdly uplifted spirits” when the US aid passed.
“It seemed to me there was the expectation that… if this didn’t turn things around, that maybe it would at least allow the Kiev regime to stabilize the line and buy time. Neither one of those things happened.”
After signing the bill, Biden admitted that one of the most advanced weapon systems included in the aid package, long-range ATACMS missiles, were already supplied to Ukraine back in March, eliminating any hope they could change the reality on the ground since they were already in use as Ukrainian defenses continued to collapse.
Ukrainian soldiers look out with a self-propelled howitzer in Chasov Yar. File photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.05.2024
Why Chasov Yar's Fall Could Become Turning Point in Ukraine Conflict
In an article published in Western media on Thursday, the head of the Ukrainian intelligence agency the SBU, Vadym Skibitsky, admitted that Kiev’s troops are still facing a weapon shortage and that the Chasov Yar, a Ukrainian stronghold west of Artemovsk, will eventually fall.
Last month, authorities in Kiev suspended foreign consulate services for men aged 18 - 60 in an attempt to force them back to Ukraine and presumably to the front lines. On Friday, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry also reduced medical exceptions to avoid conscription, forcing some cancer, HIV and tuberculosis patients to serve, some on the frontlines, after an updated medical examination performed by a military medical commission.
Ukrainian military medics try to give first aid to a soldier heavily wounded in a battle near Kremennaya in the Lugansk region, Russia, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023 - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.04.2024
Poland and Lithuania May Help Press Gang Ukrainians Into Kiev Regime's Military
This summer, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is scheduled to travel to Switzerland for another so-called peace negotiations, the fourth such event that declined to invite Russia, obviously the most critical country to any possible peace negotiations.
“These are billed as pushing Zelensky's peace formula, which is an absurd demand for Russia's unconditional surrender,” Sleboda explained. “Zelensky wants Russia to pull out all of its troops, pay reparations [and] all Russian leaders have to go to war crimes trials. Oh, and Zelensky would like a little pretty little pink pony, too, right? This is the absurd demand from the losing side that Russia unconditionally surrender.”
Instead of helping Ukraine, its leaders’ insistence on hanging out for as long as possible will only compel Russia to push for regime change and unconditional surrender itself.
“I don’t think [Russia] is willing to accept anything less at this point. It’s gone too far… The outrage, as you know, from the Crocus City Hall terror attack to the attacks on civilians to this continual rhetoric that as soon as the conflict ceases, Ukraine will be brought into NATO and the EU… which of course gives Russia absolutely zero incentive [to enter negotiations]. In fact, it impels them to continue until they reach the Polish border,” Sleboda concluded.
On Thursday, Western media posted an article titled “No Safety in Retreat: Ukrainian Soldiers Say Rear Defensive Lines Barely Exist Amid Russian Advance.” It described Ukraine’s desperate attempts to build fortifications ahead of the rapidly approaching Russian forces.
We entered the war with nothing,” a member of Ukraine’s engineering force told a media outlet, noting that they were only given equipment from the 1960s and shovels. “Accordingly, that’s the kind of trenches we made.
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