A lack of foreign aid deliveries from Western allies makes life “very difficult” for Ukraine’s fighters, a despairing President Volodymyr Zelensky said late Monday.
Zelensky and other officials have repeatedly expressed frustration at the slowness of promised aid deliveries even as European countries struggle to find enough stocks to satisfy Kyiv’s demands.
In Washington aid worth $60 billion is currently waiting to be approved by Congress, much to the anger of Ukraine’s leadership that wants the U.S. taxpayer funds released as a matter of urgency.
The package faces resistance from House Republicans.
That a Threat? Zelensky Warns Ukrainians in Europe Could Act ‘Unpredictably’ if Western Aid Is Cuthttps://t.co/EAtH5PhNmo
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AP reports Zelensky used an address to say Russia has built up troops at some points along the 930-mile front line, apparently aiming to exploit any perceived defensive weaknesses.
“They (the Russians) are taking advantage of delays in aid to Ukraine,” he said after visiting the command post in the area of Kupiansk, in the northeastern Kharkiv region, on Monday.
He said Ukrainian troops keenly felt a shortage of artillery, air defense systems and long-range weapons, according to AP.
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Ukrainian forces withdrew from the strategic eastern city of Avdiivka at the weekend, where they had battled a fierce Russian assault for four months despite being heavily outnumbered and outgunned.
Oleksiy Danilov, head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, conceded the situation on the battlefield is hard, especially due to a lack of ammunition, the situation on the eastern front is not catastrophic.
“We fight and will continue to fight,” he told news outlet Ukrainska Pravda. “We have only one request to our partners: to help with weapons, with ammunition, and with air defense.”
Meanwhile Sweden, which is poised to join NATO, said Tuesday it will donate military aid to Ukraine worth $681 million, AFP reports.
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The package will consist of artillery shells, air defence, boats, and underwater weapons such as mines and torpedoes as well as training for Ukrainian soldiers. The latest tranche marks Sweden’s 15th aid package to Ukraine and is the largest yet.
The Canadian government said Monday it will dispatch more than 800 drones to Ukraine starting as early as this spring. They are part of a previously announced 500 million Canadian dollars ($370 million) in military help for Ukraine.
AP contributed to this report