President Biden said fall of Ukrainian city shows delays in aid

President Biden said fall of Ukrainian city shows delays in aid

President Joe Biden blamed failure to approve emergency aid to Ukraine by American legislators for the fall of Avdiivka, which gave Russia a major battlefield victory after months of fighting for control of the city.

Attempts to release emergency foreign aid to U.S. allies have been stuck in a partisan stalemate in Congress for months.forcing Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to make increasingly urgent calls for lawmakers to move forward as Ukrainian supplies dry up.

Ukraine was forced to withdraw from Avdiivka after its “soldiers had to ration ammunition due to dwindling supplies as a result of congressional inactionresulting in Russia’s first notable advances in months,” the White House said in a statement after Biden called Zelenskiy to underscore the United States’ commitment to continued support.

Biden “emphasized the need for Congress Urgently Pass National Security Supplemental Funding Bill to Resupply Ukrainian Forces”, according to the reading of the call.

The US Senate approved $95 billion in aid for Ukraine this weekIsrael and Taiwan after months of delay, but the legislation still faces formidable obstacles in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

Ukraine’s military said earlier on Saturday it would withdraw troops from Avdiivkathe same day that Zelenskiy addressed an annual conference of military and foreign policy leaders in Munich. He told the meeting that Ukraine was withdrawing to save lives.

Zelenskiy renewed calls for allies to arm Ukrainesaying that Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking advantage.

Keeping Ukraine in an artificial deficit of artillery and long-range weapons allows Putin to adapt to the current intensity of the war“he said at the Munich Security Conference, where he met with US Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday.

Ukraine is struggling with dwindling military supplies as Russian forces continue their offensive at a time of uncertainty over American aid. Zelenskiy changed his military leadership last week as the full-scale invasion of Russia heads into its third year..

Avdiivka, an industrial satellite city located just north of Donetsk, a regional capital under de facto Kremlin control since 2014, has been hit by bombing and heavy fighting since spring 2022.

The loss of the city, once home to 30,000 peopleadds to the woes for Ukraine’s political and military leaders as they struggle with a lack of soldiers and face war fatigue.

The Kremlin made Avdiivka a priority in a year in which neither side is expected to make strategic progress important on the battlefield, according to Western officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Moscow is pressing its advantage as Ukraine’s army runs out of ammunition. The last time large swathes of territory changed hands in Ukraine was more than a year ago, when kyiv troops liberated part of the Kherson region in the south.

European officials, who recently approved a more than $50 billion aid package for Ukraineare increasingly concerned about delays in Washington.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine will be two years old on February 24. For the first time since the 2022 invasion, more Ukrainians believe things are going in the wrong directionaccording to a survey by the kyiv International Institute of Sociology.

The survey was carried out around the time Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the very popular military chief, resigned after months of tension with Zelenskiy.

The proportion of people with a pessimistic outlook increased to 46% in early February from 32% in Decemberwhile those who see things going in the right direction fell to 44% from more than half.