New weapons in Ukraine: a breakthrough in the war for survival? Russia will send a message

Podcast episode featuring Volodymyr Dubovyk, Visiting Professor at the Fletcher Russia and Eurasia Program

The critical shortage of ammunition fundamentally complicated Ukraine’s position in the war with Russia. But now good news is finally coming for the Ukrainians – after half a year of delays, the USA approved military and economic aid and also provided the long-requested long-range missiles. How do the Ukrainians themselves now perceive the prospects of their country? And how strong is the country’s position? We asked an expert directly in Odessa.

What you will also hear in today’s episode at 5:59

  • That the renewal of American aid is causing a new wave of optimism in Ukraine.
  • Why, despite the restart of supplies, can we expect a new big outburst from Russia.
  • What are the prospects for Ukraine in the event that Donald Trump regains power in the USA.

After months of increasing bad news about stalling military aid from the United States as well as increasing Russian pressure on the front, Ukraine has gained a new dose of optimism. Not only that, the legislators in the USA finally approved a package worth over 60 billion US dollars (converted to almost one and a half trillion crowns). Last week, it was also revealed that Washington had meanwhile provided Ukraine with long-requested long-range missiles.

“But there is no reason to celebrate and feel euphoric, it is still too early. There is still a very long war ahead of us,” warns Professor of International Relations Volodymyr Dubovyk , who heads the Center for International Studies at the Mechnikov National University in Odessa. Nevertheless, in an interview for the 5:59 podcast, he adds that the latest developments are undoubtedly encouraging for Ukraine.

The country facing the Russian attack was also getting into big problems due to the blocking of American aid. Its defense was increasingly complicated by the lack of ammunition the army was dealing with. But the Ukrainian professor is convinced that with the “inflow of new weapons” the situation will improve. “We cling to the hope that the Russians will not succeed in conquering more and more Ukrainian territories in the foreseeable future,” he says.

The speed with which the flow of American aid can be restored will be important. According to Dubovyk, however, the Pentagon had already moved weapons and material to Europe in advance so that it could react as quickly as possible after the approval of the record-high package itself. Nevertheless, it cannot be overlooked that due to the political battle in the United States, the supply of weapons was stuck for half a year.

“In Ukraine, we hoped that the problem would be solved much faster. We were experiencing despair and it was difficult to understand what was happening and why there was such a huge delay,” describes a Ukrainian professor, according to whom people in Ukraine are visibly happy after the breakthrough in the US. At the same time, a certain bitterness remains in them. “And they ask themselves: How does the Biden administration envision the end of this war? Do they still believe in the victory of Ukraine? (…) And what will happen if Donald Trump returns to power next year?”

“The most important package of all”

The resumption of arms supplies from the United States is also important for Ukraine because they should strengthen the Ukrainian army against the expected Russian offensive. But for now, there is only speculation. According to Professor Dubovyk, it is now difficult to predict anything about its opening. But he has no doubts that the Russians will “try” a big attack. They will want to send a message that even new aid to Ukraine against Russia will not help and that all resistance is futile.

And that is also why Volodymyr Dubovyk calls the approved American aid the most important package of all so far. It describes that it should contain artillery ammunition, missiles, air defense systems or perhaps demining equipment. “There is absolutely everything on that list,” says the Odessa academic, adding that the package covers the most important things Ukraine needs at the moment.

How much money will go to what?

  • Specifically, it is known that about 23 billion dollars has been allocated by the United States for the replenishment of its own military stocks (even this, however, is key to the continued willingness of the United States to release its weapons and ammunition to Ukraine).
  • About 14 billion is supposed to go directly to the US program for supporting Ukrainian security (Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative), through which the US provides weapons for Ukraine, among other things.
  • Roughly 11 billion is supposed to go to finance existing US military operations.
  • Another about 8 billion for non-military economic support of Ukraine in its basic functioning.

However, the professor also highlights the importance of the German callto strengthen air defense in Ukraine or the Czech ammunition initiative . According to Dubovyk, even after the approval of new American aid, other states should not “relax” and slacken in providing support. Only then will Ukraine be able to compete in the fight. “Russia is a formidable adversary that has redoubled its military efforts in the past two years,” it states.

At the same time, he assumes that now, after a new infusion of optimism, the voices calling for the need to negotiate some kind of agreement with Russia, which might not even be beneficial for Ukraine, will be silenced again. According to Volodymyr Dubovyk, such rhetoric intensified at the very moment when the country was losing ground due to the lack of ammunition on the battlefield. But Ukraine cannot stop fighting – it is waging a war for its own survival. “You simply have to fight the enemy who is trying to wipe you off the face of the earth,” adds the Ukrainian expert.

In the 5:59 podcast, you will also find out if Kiev could find common ground with Washington even if Republican Donald Trump returns to the White House. And you will also hear about how strong a position President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has in Ukraine after more than two years of war. Listen in the player at the beginning of the article.

(This post is republished from Seznam Zpravy.)

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