In 2014, when Russia quickly attacked Crimea, Ukraine was unprepared.
Untrained Ukrainians took up arms, trying to fight back against the Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas shortly after. And while the US has provided military assistance to Ukraine in the meantime – and the Ukrainian military has ramped up – lawmakers warn that the Biden administration has not done enough to provide the kind of support needed to prevent another Russian attack.
Ukraine’s support packages are certainly huge. The US has provided more than $2.5 billion in assistance to Ukraine since 2014. The Biden administration itself fixed $60 million in assistance earlier this year.
But the situation in Ukraine doesn’t look good. Russian troops are massing at the border and threatening invasion. And, according to some estimates, they can overcome Ukrainian forces in 30 to 45 minutes, according to Robert Lee, a Russian military analyst and Dr. candidate at King’s College.
Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who visited Ukraine last week to see the land with his own eyes, told The Daily Beast Ukraine is vulnerable to a takeover.
“I see this as a very serious situation. Russia is amassing a lot of its forces on the border in an offensive [way] with offensive capabilities,” Gallego told The Daily Beast in an interview. “Ukraine itself is bogged down on the eastern front in the Donbas … with most of its troops fighting there and very vulnerable to invasion.”
To make matters worse, Russia is beefing up its military along the Ukrainian border in an attempt to disperse Ukrainian forces and weaken any potential defensive operations, said Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Oleksi Reznikov. , speak. Politico in a recent interview.
“That’s not to say we can’t make Ukraine more resilient to that, but we have to move very quickly,” Gallego said of the match. The situation could change if the White House and Pentagon step up their game and help deliver lethal aid to Ukraine, he said.
That kind of support would be needed immediately; Russia Defense Department press secretary John Kirby said at a press conference this week the Russian military showed no signs of backing down.
“The Russian game plan is to try to do this as quickly as possible with the least amount of resistance,” said Gallego, who was recently threatened by a Russian politician. kidnap for his comments on Russia in recent days. “I think Russia is ready to enter Ukraine now or sometime in the near future… in the next three months.”
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is adamant that securing millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine will be central to any effort to prevent Russia from invading Ukraine.
“Strengthening Ukraine’s military capabilities is our best defense against Russia’s provocative behavior on the border,” Shaheen told The Daily Beast. “There is bipartisan consensus in Congress about the need for the United States to support our democratic partners and provide the tools it needs to protect itself from malicious and disreputable behavior.” stability of the Kremlin.”
Just in the past few days, Congress has announced an increase in aid packages for Ukraine annually from $250 million to $300 million in the latest defense authorization bill.
And Gallego told The Daily Beast that he plans to talk to the White House, National Security Council and Pentagon about further support for Ukraine, which could really make a difference if Russia invades. .
“We need to create deterrence,” Gallego said. “The way to do that is to give more lethal aid, lethal defense aid, to Ukraine that they don’t have right now, and encourage and train their ability to carry out resistance operations. .”
Gallego — and all of his House colleagues who wrote a letter to Biden in recent days on this topic — want support packages to focus on javelin launchers, detonators, drones and rockets. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) told The Daily Beast.
“Although Ukraine has received more than $3 billion in extensive U.S. support and training from our European allies, more needs to be done,” Portman said, adding that “the Biden administration should increase the speed and scope of our security assistance to Ukraine to counter Russian threats, especially in the areas of lethal support including air and sea defense weapons. “
A spokesman for the National Security Council told The Daily Beast that the White House is evaluating additional military packages for Ukraine on an ongoing basis. In the past two months, the US has delivered Javelin missiles, first aid kits, radios, electronic equipment, medical equipment, engines and generators, the spokesman noted.
But in the absence of more help from the Biden administration, the Ukrainian people may need to arm themselves and fight a partisan war in the coming days, said the commander of the Joint Operations Forces of Ukraine. , said General Oleksandr Pavlyuk. Radio Freedom.
The Biden administration has made vague statements about what it will do with Ukraine to avert a crisis that is sending the hairs on the back of Ukraine’s head.
“There are not enough military resources to repel a full-scale Russian offensive if it begins without the support of Western forces,” said Brigadier General Kyrylo Budanov, director of the military intelligence agency. Ukraine, said. New York Times. “They need to decide, either we are the allies they claim to be — and in that case, the allies help each other — or they need to say that this is not exactly the case.”
In recent days, President Biden told reporters sending troops to Ukraine was “unprecedented”. Biden goes as far as to say that the US will have plans to send troops to the so-called Bucharest Nine (B9) countries – NATO’s eastern flank – if Russia actually pulls the trigger and invades Ukraine. But he won’t touch on the issue of US military supplies sooner.
If Russia invades, “we will find that we will have to send more US and NATO troops to the eastern flank, B9, all of the NATO countries to which we have a sacred obligation to defend them from any attack. any Russian attack”. said the president.
The B9 countries include Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian military advisers are protesting the Biden administration’s delay in other assistance, noting that they may not be able to withstand an initial attack if Russia pre-targets the sites. Ammunition depot and troops in trenches. From Ukraine’s perspective, the time for military support is not after an invasion, but now.
“If the civilized world wants to avoid disaster — and this will be a disaster for everyone — we need military-technical assistance now, not tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow, not in a moment. five. Now,” said Budanov.
Attempts to Contain Russia with economic measures—Which seems to be the main option Biden dares to propose at this stage — doesn’t seem to make much progress.
Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried spoke between Ukraine and Russia this week to better understand Putin’s position, and US Secretary of State Tony Blinken declined this week when asked about the position. MSNBC if Russia shows it has heeded any threats of US sanctions and warns against turning its back on Ukraine.
“We’ll see in the coming days and weeks,” Blinken said.
Things don’t seem to be going in the right direction. Russia shared proposals with Donfried on how it thought the tensions could be resolved, but its proposals – including NATO’s refusal of Ukraine’s membership – were rejected by the US and its allies. I refuse.
A senior administration official said in a call with reporters on Friday that “there are certain things in those documents that the Russians know are unacceptable, and they know that … they are. I remain deeply concerned about Russia’s large and unprovoked buildup on the Ukrainian border.”
But the wait-and-see approach can cause even more headaches, Gallego says.
“If this really leads to an all-out war, we have to double down, triple what we already give them” in terms of spears and nibs, Gallego said. “We should also be ready to share as much intelligence as possible about where Russian assets are for Ukraine to defend itself.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/lawmakers-call-on-joe-biden-for-more-military-help-for-ukraine?source=articles&via=rss Lawmakers Call on Joe Biden for More Military Help for Ukraine