Congress Fiddles While Ukraine Burns

Against the Current No. 230, May/June 2024

Howie Hawkins

25th Air Assault Brigade of Sicheslayshchyna on September 18, 2022. By early 2024 the Ukrainian military was firing one round for every five or ten of Putin’s forces.

[THIS ARTICLE WENT to press in our new issue before the ultimate passage of U.S. military aid to Ukraine, along with $14 billion in new subsidy for Israel and assistance for Taiwan. The aid for the Israeli assault on Gaza’s population is an unspeakable obscenity that will be the defining presidential legacy of “Genocide Joe” Biden. How quickly the urgently needed weaponry for Ukraine is delivered, and whether it will help hold back Vladimir Putin’s attempt to turn Ukraine into another new Gaza, is an open question. The delay and Congressional gridlock, driven by the MAGA/Putin Republican faction, has predictably exposed Ukraine’s people and critical energy infrastructure to enormous and preventable harm.]

WHEN CONGRESS WENT on its 16-day Easter vacation on March 22, it had been five months since the Biden administration had asked Congress to authorize $61.2 billion in new aid to Ukraine for 2024, including $48 billion in military aid. Just before leaving town, Congress adopted all of the remaining budget bills for 2024.

Ukraine aid was not included except for a small $300 million appropriation, less than one one-thousandth of what Biden had requested. Meanwhile Ukraine was running out of ammunition, particularly artillery shells for the frontline ground battles and air-defense missiles to intercept Russian missile, drone and aircraft bombing of civilian infrastructure and residences far behind the frontlines.

With the shortage of artillery shells, Ukraine began firing one round for every five or ten by the Russians by early 2024. As a result, Ukraine has been gradually conceding ground on the front lines to Russia’s offensives, notably in the Donetsk city suburb of Avdiivka in mid-February, which Ukraine had held for ten years since Russia’s initial invasion in 2014.

Ukraine was also beginning to ration air-defense missiles by February. What had been a 90% rate of intercepting incoming missiles and drones, which also deterred Russian aircraft bombing runs over Ukraine, had declined to around 50% by early March. Many news reports indicated that Ukraine would have a catastrophic shortage of air-defense missiles by April.

Ukraine’s early demand for a no-fly zone enforced by NATO aircraft had been rejected by the United States and NATO countries who did not want direct military conflict with Russian forces. But the no-fly zone had largely been achieved after Western air-defense systems, particularly the U.S. Patriot systems, reached Ukraine in the summer of 2023.

As April 2024 approached, Ukraine was dreading that Russia aircraft bombers as well as missiles and drones would do to Ukrainian cities and towns what Israel was doing to Gaza, and be free to carpet-bomb as Russia has done in the past to Grozny in Chechnya, Aleppo in Syria and, in Ukraine, to Mariupol, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and other communities that Russia claims to have “liberated.”

Congress Stalls Out

On October 20, 2024, President Biden had unveiled a supplementary foreign aid bill. The $106 billion request to Congress included $61.4 billion for Ukraine, $14.3 billion in Israeli military aid, $14 billion for border control, $9.2 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza, Ukraine and other crisis areas, $4 billion for countering Chinese influence in Asia and the Global South, and $3.4 billion for the U.S. submarine industrial base.(1)

Coming just two weeks after October 7 attack on Israel, the Biden administration believed that tying Israel aid and border security to Ukraine aid would win support for the bill when increasing numbers of Republican in Congress were opposing Ukraine aid.

The last money for Ukraine in 2023 came in a series of votes for small supplementary Ukraine funding in September. These all passed with full Democratic support but decreasing numbers of Republicans, until the last Ukraine supplemental of $300 million was opposed by a 117 to 101 majority of Republican House members.

That September 28 vote came days before a stopgap funding bill had to pass to prevent a government shutdown on October 1, prompting then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to pull $6 billion in Ukraine aid from the bill to get more Republican votes. No further Ukraine aid was authorized by Congress until the most recent near-shutdown on March 22, when a token $300 million was included in the must-pass remaining 2024 budget bills.

With Republican support for Ukraine eroding, Biden and the Democrats had decided in October to push for a big Ukraine aid bill, covering all of 2024, rather than repeatedly asking for smaller supplemental aid bills that were losing Republican support.

Biden linked Ukraine aid to “border security” and Israel aid, hoping to appease Republican demands for stronger anti-immigration measures and substantial Israel aid, and to isolate the farthest-right Republicans who were opposed to Ukraine aid altogether. On the other side, many progressive Democrats wanted the opposite — Ukraine aid but not Israel aid or cruel anti-immigrant measures.

Most observers of Congress believe that Ukraine aid and Israel aid would have each passed with strong majorities as separate bills, but Biden thought he could get both in a bill that also gave Republicans harsher border measures. As it turned out, by bundling the Ukraine and immigration provisions in one bill, Biden gave the Republicans the knives they used to stab him in the back.

By the time Biden made his supplemental foreign aid proposal on October 20, the House had no Speaker. It could not pass anything. Republicans were haggling over who to elect as Speaker after dethroning McCarthy on October 3.

When Mike Johnson (R-LA) was elected House Speaker by the Republican conference on October 25, he immediately announced his opposition to the Biden supplementary foreign aid bill. He said border security was the top national security priority to be dealt with before considering Ukraine aid. That led to protracted bipartisan negotiations in the Senate on the bill’s border security provisions.

The border provisions, agreed to with the approval of Biden, gave the Republicans most of the inhumane “close the border” provisions they had demanded. But Donald Trump wanted to be able to keep scapegoating immigrants for America’s problems for the duration of the presidential campaign. So the Republicans in the House decided to kill the bill — Biden had been stabbed in the back by the border control sop he had given to the Republicans.

The Senate finally came back with a $95.3 billion bill that was close to Biden’s original request without any border security measures. The bill passed on February 13 handily by a vote of 70-29, with 22 Republicans in favor. But Johnson refused to bring the bill to a vote in the House, still saying border control had to be dealt with first.

Privately, according to New York Times reporting,(2) Johnson was meanwhile reassuring donors, foreign leaders, and other members of Congress that he would get a Ukraine aid bill passed. As Congress approached its Easter vacation, Johnson was publicly saying he would introduce his own stand-alone Ukraine bill after the House returns on April 9.

At this writing (early April) the contents of the bill have not been detailed, but in various statements in recent weeks Johnson has indicated that it will not actually be a stand-alone bill. It will have provisions for stronger border control and for reversing the Biden administration’s pause on permitting a controversial liquid natural gas export terminal in Johnson’s home state of Louisiana.

Following Trump’s lead, Johnson also indicated that the Ukraine aid bill would be all military and not economic, taking the form of loans instead of grants, which will deepen the debt trap in which Ukraine is caught. Johnson said that frozen Russian state assets might be used as collateral for the loans or to directly pay for the aid, although that approach is likely to end up in the courts and delay the aid for months.

Johnson’s approach has support of the dwindling pro-Ukraine wing of the Republican Party. One of those Republicans, Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), was in Kyiv on March 18 where he told Zelensky that Ukraine would have to accept loans instead of grants of military aid, and that the bill would include border provisions.(3)

Johnson also faces a possible move by the far right House Republicans to unseat him as Speaker. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) put in a motion to remove Johnson as the spending bills were being passed on March 22, but did not force a vote by making it a privileged motion. But Greene said she would force a vote if Johnson allows a vote on Ukraine aid. Democratic leaders have said they might vote to keep Johnsons Speaker if he promises to put Ukraine aid on the floor for a vote.(4)

Discharge and Dysfunction

After some talk among Democrats about introducing separate bills for Ukraine and Israel aid so their progressive wing could vote for Ukraine and against Israel aid, the Democrats settled on putting forward a discharge petition to force a vote on the Biden/Senate bill despite Speaker Johnson’s opposition after Congress returns on April 9.

The discharge petition was introduced on March 12 and immediately garnered 169 of the 218 it needs. But it struggled to reach 191 by the time the House left for Easter vacation. It is unlikely to get enough signatures because the leadership of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, members of The Squad, and other progressives will not sign it because the bill includes Israel aid.(5)

As if to put exclamation marks on how dysfunctional the Republican-led House has become, two Republican members who were resigning from the House fired parting salvos at the Repupublican caucus. Ken Buck (R-CO) became the first Republican to sign the discharge petition the day before his resignation took effect on March 22.(6)

Then Mike Gallagher (R-WI) announced on March 22 as Congress was departing on vacation that he would resign his seat effective April 19. That date was strategic for Gallagher, as it’s the first day that makes it too late under Wisconsin law for there to be a special election to replace him before the November election.

Both Buck and Gallagher had tried to be constructive not obstructive conservatives in the House, but their patience had worn out. Their resignation reduced the Republicans to a narrow 217-213 majority over the Democrats. More than a single absence or defection from the Republican side means they would not be able to pass anything on a party line vote.(7)

The night before Congress left town saw Russia’s biggest attack on Ukraine’s energy infratructure since the war began, with only 92 of 151 missiles and drones launched by Russia intercepted. The Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant at Ukraine’s largest dam in the city of Zaporizhzhia was struck eight times. Over one million Ukrainians lost power. It will take years to restore the damaged hydropower station, according to Ukraine’s state-owned energy company Ukrhydroenergo.(8)

The response of the Ukraine’s chief diplomat, foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, was not diplomatic but bluntly directed at U.S. political leaders: “‘Give us the damn Patriots,’ he said, referring to the U.S. air-defense system, the world’s best against ballistic missiles. ‘If we had enough air defense systems, namely Patriots, we would be able to protect not only the lives of our people, but also our economy from destruction.’”(9)

While Ukraine faced dire shortages of artillery shells and air-defense missiles by early 2024, it also faced a shortage of combat troops and fatigue among the aging combat troops whose average age is 43. When Russia’s full-scale invasion began, the Ukrainian army received more volunteers than it could train, outfit and deploy. But after two years of war, tired troops and insufficient volunteers has forced Ukraine to expand its draft.

Ukraine has the highest level in the world of higher education among its population. The previous age of draft eligibility was 27, a policy designed to give all young people the opportunity for higher education. The new proposed draft law will lower the age of draft eligibility to 25, still considerably higher than most countries with draft eligibility ages of 18 or 19.

Ukraine says the shortage of weapons from the West in recent months has discouraged Ukrainians from joining its armed forces. After many months of debate and rising tensions, Ukraine’s parliament seems poised to adopt a new draft law by April designed to mobilize another 500,000 troops.(10)

Russia shows every sign of continuing its aggression. In his annual year-end televised press conference in December, Putin said there would be no peace in Ukraine until Ukraine capitulates to the goals Russia stated for Ukraine when it began its full-scale invasion: “denazification,” which means regime change to install a puppet regime and destroying the Ukrainian national identity, and “demilitarization,” meaning Russian military control of Ukraine.(11)

In early February, chief Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reiterated those goals.(12) On March 20, Russia’s defense minister Sergei Shoigu announced the creation of two new combined-arms armies [combining of infantry, armored vehicles, artillery, reconnaissance and air support —ed.] and 30 formations including 14 divisions and 16 brigades by the end of 2024.(13) On March 22 Peskov said for the first time that Russia is “in a state of war” with “the collective West,” after having disingenuously termed the war a “special military operation” for the previous two years.(14)

Military analysts in Ukraine and the West believe Russia will be on the offensive in the spring and summer of 2024, aiming to gain complete military control of the oblasts it claimed to annex in 2022 (Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson) and perhaps making new attempts to capture Kharkiv oblast and even the capital of Kyiv.(15)

Putin frequently says Russia is ready to negotiate an end to the Ukraine war, as he did in his early February interview with far-right American commentator Tucker Carlson. Putin said the war would end if the United States got Ukraine to agree to cede land to Russia.

Putin seemed to pitch his appeal to opponents of Ukraine aid on the American right by suggesting sympathetically that the U.S. had more pressing domestic worries about border security, immigrants, and the national debt, issues at the top of Republican Party campaign messaging.

Appearing to be open to negotiations also helps Putin’s standing with war-weary publics at home and abroad. Ukraine’s response was to reiterate its demand that Russia troops withdraw from Ukraine. The U.S. response was that it is up to Ukraine to decide when to negotiate a peace settlement.(16)

A month later Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president and prime minister who is deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council and serves as Putin’s attack dog in the way Spiro Agnew once did for Richard Nixon, restated Russia’s colonial intentions toward Ukraine.

On March 4 Medvedev said: “One of the former Ukrainian leaders said once that Ukraine was not Russia. This concept must disappear forever. Ukraine certainly is Russia…. [Russian public opinion] rightfully regards Ukraine and its population as part of our all-Russian civilization.” He said the war would end with Ukraine’s capitulation.(17)

The next week in an interview with Russian state media Putin said that “to start negotiating just because they [Ukraine] are running out of ammunition would be ridiculous.”(18)

Will Europe Fill the Aid Gap?

With U.S. military aid at least stalled if not defeated in Congress, and with Donald Trump saying that as President he “would encourage” Russia “to do whatever the hell they want” to NATO countries that are “delinquent” in defense spending, European countries are now seriously considering how to defend themselves autonomously if they face far-right governments on both sides of them in Russia and America.(19)

French President Emmanuel Macron has been the most controversial in this consideration by saying that France is ready, and that NATO countries should be ready, to send troops to help defend Ukraine. The U.S., UK, German, Italian and Spanish governments were quick to reiterate their opposition to troop deployments to Ukraine.

There was more openness to the idea in countries closer to Russia, with Czechia [Czech Republic] and Poland saying they could see a role for foreign advisors, trainers and technicians. The three small Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania next to Russia are open to deploying combat troops if needed to defend Ukraine.

It has not been a secret that some Western countries have intelligence officers, special forces and military technicians for certain equipment already in Ukraine since the Discord leaks by airman Jack Teixeira of U.S. classified documents became public in April 2023. One memo in that documents leak indicated the UK had the largest contingent of special forces (50), followed by Latvia (17), France (15), the United States (14) and the Netherlands (1). It was Macron’s suggestion of a direct combat role at some point for Western troops that was so contentious.(20)

Speaking to a feminist assembly in France on March 12, Ukrainian socialist-feminist Daria Saburova noted that “Macron’s remarks were also immediately disavowed by the Ukrainian government, pointing out that in fact, Ukraine never requested the troops. It asks for weapons, and especially ammunition.”

Saburova added that “the Ukrainian question is used cynically” for electoral purposes by political forces in France. She was referring to Macron from the center-right calling for troops that Ukraine never requested, and to the parties that oppose French weapons to Ukraine, from Marine Le Pen’s National Rally on the far right to the parties of the institutional left, including the Communist Party and Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s France Insoumise.

Saburova claimed that they use “arguments disconnected from local reality [which] has no other consequence than to undermine public support for the Ukrainian resistance….military support remains at the center of the demands that Ukrainians address to Europeans.”(21)

Military analysts say that Ukraine needs 200,000 shells a month just to hold back Russian offensives at the frontlines. The United States is ramping up shell production to about one million per year by 2025. European Union countries promised one million shells in 2023, but were only able to provide 300,000. The EU aims to produce 1.4 million shells in 2024 and two million in 2025.

Western production of shells has been outpaced by Russia, which has ramped up its shell production to three million a year. However, a Czechian initiative may fill in the gap. Czechia started procuring artillery shells available for purchase around the world as Russian military forces amassed on Ukraine’s border before the full-scale invasion started on February 24, 2022. To date, it has secured contracts for 800,000 artillery shells and identified another 700,000 shells that could be purchased with additional funds. All 1.5 million shells will cost $3.3 billion.

Germany, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and other countries, but not the United States, have contributed to the fund to buy these shells. The shells Czechia has secured are a mix of Soviet-standard and NATO-standard shells, which suits Ukraine’s mix of artillery systems. To source many of the shells, Czechia used its former status as a Warsaw Pact nation whose arms industry sold weapons to many Global South countries that used Soviet military systems.(22)

Meanwhile Ukrainian arms factories are ramping up production of artillery shells, mortar rounds, military vehicles, missile, and drones as fast as they can. Production tripled in 2023 and is expected to increase sixfold this year. Ukraine is spending about $5 billon on manufacturing arms in 2024, equal to about 12% of its national budget.

Ukraine’s innovative uses and improvements of surveillance and armed drones have transformed how this war is being fought. Ukraine is producing 90% of the drones it has used. But other arms production is far short of what is needed.(23)

Does the U.S. Want Ukraine to Win?

Contrary to the Kremlin narrative that the United States “provoked” Russia into invading by arming Ukraine and expanding NATO eastward, the facts are that the U.S. has been slow to arm Ukraine. To this day, the United States resists an early Ukraine accession to NATO.(24<)/p>

After Russian military forces took over Crimea and parts of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, then President Obama defended his refusal to send weapons to Ukraine by invoking the kind of “realist” foreign policy perspective associated with Henry Kissinger that acted more on national interests than political values.

His interviewer would call his response The Obama Doctrine: “The fact is that Ukraine, which is a non-NATO country, is going to be vulnerable to military domination by Russia no matter what we do.”(25)

Donald Trump was no friend of Ukraine. His campaign manager Paul Manafort had worked for Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs, including Victor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president who had fled to Russia in the face of the 2014 Maidan Revolution. Manafort got the 2016 Republican platform to delete support for military aid to Ukraine.(26)

Trump as president opposed military aid to Ukraine, but in 2018 was forced by his National Security Council and Congress to send Ukraine $47 million worth of portable Javelin anti-tank missiles and launchers for infantry. But Trump insisted that the Javelins not be used on the frontline against Russian forces, but put in storage as a deterrent.

In 2019, Congress authorized a $400-million military aid package for Ukraine, but Trump held it back. He notoriously called Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and tried to shake him down for dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden as a quid pro quo to get the military aid released.

Zelensky refused and the aid was only released after Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council member of Ukrainian descent and privy to the call, blew the whistle on Trump, which led to his first impeachment.(27)

Biden, who was Obama’s lead in Ukraine when their administration refused to send weapons to Ukraine after Russian military intervention there in 2014, as president has been reluctant to send weapons to Ukraine. While Russia built up its military forces on Ukraine’s borders in 2021 and U.S. intelligence predicted a Russian invasion, Biden threatened stronger economic sanctions on Russia if it invaded, but not many weapons for Ukraine’s self-defense.

During the Russian military buildup leading to the full-scale invasion, U.S. weapons for Ukraine consisted primarily of some more hand-held Javelin anti-tank and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. Ukraine had been asking since 2014 for advanced artillery, tanks and aircraft to defend itself. It was not until after Ukraine had defeated Russia’s initial attempt to capture the capital Kyiv that Washington began considering sending more, and more advanced, weapons.

That military aid, however, has been slow and reluctant. Many Ukrainians and military analysts view what the United States has been providing as enough weapons for Ukraine not to lose, but also not enough to win; enough to hold back further Russian territorial gains, but not to push Russian forces out of Ukraine altogether.

Biden has been worried about provoking Russia into a major escalation possibly involving nuclear weapons. He has also been worried that a decisive Russian defeat in Ukraine could lead to instability in Russia, where the world’s largest nuclear weapons stockpiles could fall into the hands of different factions competing for power.(28)

While concerns about escalation and nuclear weapons are legitimate, the nuclear threats made by Putin, other Kremlin officials, and state media presenters seem to have deterred Biden and other Western countries from providing the weapons Ukrainians need to defeat the Russian occupation forces in their country.(29)

When the full-scale invasion began, neither the West nor Russia expected Ukraine to survive for very long. The United States offered to help the Zelensky administration set up a government in exile. Zelensky’s famous reply was “I need ammunition, not a ride.”(30)

When Ukraine did halt the Russian assault on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and then Russian troops withdrew a month later from that region, Western publics clamored for their governments to provide more military support. It was two months after invasion before the United States organized the first meeting of Ukraine’s allies on April 26, 2022 at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to coordinate military aid.

While sending Ukraine more Stingers and Javelins for infantry, Washington resisted sending more advanced weaponry. First it was a debate on whether to send longer-range artillery, including HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System). HIMARS did not reach Ukraine until in late summer and fall 2022 and were immediately instrumental in Ukraine’s fall victories that recovered large swathes of territory from Russian occupation in Kharkiv and Kherson oblasts.

The next debate was on whether to send M1 Abrams tanks. It wasn’t until January 2023 that Biden agreed to send Abrams tanks and they didn’t arrive until the fall of 2023. Meanwhile the United States had been pushing for Ukraine to do a combined arms “counter-offensive” on the southern front, but without providing enough tanks and other armored vehicles and aircraft for air cover that such operations require.

Zelensky and Ukrainian military leaders decided to delay the counter-offensive while waiting for military supplies from the West. Ukraine’s top military commander commander-in-chief, Valery Zaluzhny, said it “pisses me off” that some in the West complain about the delayed counter-offensive.(31)

Only after six months of Russia’s long winter air campaign against Ukraine’s electricity, heat, water and sewage infrastructure did Biden decide in April 2023 to send Patriot air-defense systems, which began arriving in the summer. It took until late 2023 to provide long-range ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile Systems) missiles that enable Ukraine to hit military targets in all the Russian-occupied territories, including Crimea.

In August 2023 the United States finally agreed to provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, but they will not arrive there until summer 2024. Ukraine has been asking for all these weapons systems since 2014. The common pattern in providing them from the Biden administration has been to first say “no,” then “maybe” during a prolonged debate, and finally “yes” but with slow and often delayed delivery.

Ukraine Resists While Appealing for Solidarity

Despite limited and delayed U.S. and Western support, now resulting in small Russian gains on the frontlines and the risk of a major Russian breakthrough with the new offensive expected in late spring or summer, Ukraine has made gains in other dimensions of the war. Ukraine’s homegrown and innovative air and sea drones are hitting Russian military assets and infrastructure behind the frontlines.

Ukrainian drone boats have destroyed a significant number of ships in Russia’s Black Sea fleet, forcing them to retreat to the eastern Black Sea. As a result, Ukraine has been able to reopen a sea corridor for grain and other exports in the western Black Sea that Russia had previously been able to block.(32) Ukraine has used its anti-aircraft missiles to shoot down enough Russian fighter-bombers and radar surveillance planes this winter to put the sustainability of Russia’s warplane fleet in question.(33)

Long-range air drones have hit many Russian military supply lines and ammunition depots, command centers, and military-related infrastructure far from the frontlines. These drones have damaged a significant portion of Russia’s oil refining capacity over the winter, forcing Russia to declare a six-month ban beginning March 1 on gasoline exports in order to meet domestic and military demand.(34)

The Biden administration, however, has urged Ukraine to halt its strikes on Russian oil refineries because it fears escalatory retaliation by Russia and rising world oil prices, which could put Biden’ re-election in jeopardy.(35) While Ukraine has accepted the U.S. prohibition on using weapons it supplies to strike Russian territory, Ukraine shows no sign of stopping its hits on military targets in Russia with missiles and drones it has produced itself.

While U.S. aid remains, at best, on hold in Congress, the American public still strongly supports Ukraine, with 58% in favor of sending more U.S. economic assistance and military supplies. Support for Ukraine is skewed strongly toward the more progressive side of the political spectrum, with 75% of Democrats and 54% of independents, compared to 47% of Republicans, favoring military aid.(36)

Translating public opinion into public policy is a deep-seated problem of the American political system, but mass movements and electoral campaigns can affect policy. That is what the Ukrainians are asking of us in solidarity.

Many appeals from Ukrainian socialists, anarchists, greens and feminists, and two recent appeals from the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) on the occasions of the New Year and then the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion, capture what they all share: demands for more economic, humanitarian and military aid; “strengthen sanctions against the terrorist regime of Russia;” and using frozen Russian assets in the West to help Ukraine.(37)

The Ukraine Solidarity Network is working to provide this solidarity. See its mission statement and resources.


  1. Jeff Stein and Jacob Bogage, “As 2024 looms, Biden unveils $106 billion foreign aid package,” Washington Post, October 20, 2024,
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  2. Catie Edmondson, “Vowing the U.S. Will ‘Do Our Job,’ Johnson Searches for a Path on Ukraine,” New York Times, March 24, 2024,
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  3. Miranda Nazzaro, “Graham meets with Zelensky in Ukraine,” The Hill, March 18, 2024,
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  4. Mike Lillis and Mychael Schnell, “Democrats see rescuing Speaker Johnson as best bet for Ukraine aid,” The Hill, March 28, 2024,
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  5. Discharge Petition No. 9, Clerk of the United States House of Representatives,
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  6. Miranda Nazzaro, “Ken Buck becomes first Republican to sign Democrats’ discharge petition for Ukraine aid,” The Hill, March 21, 2024,
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  7. Jonathan Allen and Scott Wong, “Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher will resign early, leaving House majority hanging by a thread,” NBC News, March 22, 2024,
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  8. Max Hunder and Tom Balmforth, “Russia pounds Ukrainian power facilities; Zelenskiy seeks air defences, ‘political will’,” Reuters, March 22, 2024,; Kateryna Denisova, “Ukhydroenergo: ‘Years’ needed to restore Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant after Russian attack,” Kyiv Independent, March 25, 2024,
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  9. Jamie Dettmer, “‘Give us the damn Patriots’  — Ukraine needs air defenses now, minister says,” Politico, March 25, 2024,
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  10. John T Psaropoulos, “Ukraine debates mobilising more men to fight Russia after two years of war,” Al Jazeera, March 18, 2024,
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  11. Andrew Roth and Pjotr Sauer, “Putin says no peace until Russia’s goals in Ukraine achieved,” The Guardian, December 14, 2023,; George Wright, Vitaliy Shevchenko & Paul Kirby, “Russia-Ukraine war: Putin tells Russia his war objectives are unchanged,” BBC, December 14, 2023,
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  12. “Kremlin says goals of Russia’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine remain unchanged,” Reuters, February 7, 2024,
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  13. Guy Faulconbridge, “Russia says it is pushing Ukrainian forces back, will create two new armies,” Reuters, March 20, 2024,
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  14. Isabel van Brugen, “Russia Admits It’s ‘In State of War’ Two Years Into Ukraine Invasion,” Newsweek, March 22, 2024,
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  15. “FT: Russia may be planning large-scale offensive for summer 2024,” Meduza, January 19, 2024,; “Zelensky: Russia preparing offensive for early summer,” Kyiv Independent, February 25, 2024,; Ben Barry, “What Russia’s momentum in Ukraine means for the war in 2024,” International Institute for Strategic Studies, March 13, 2024,; “Ukraine says Russia preparing 100,000 troops, possibly for summer offensive push,” Reuters, March 22, 2024,; Alona Mazurenko, “Kremlin is not ruling out Putin’s plans to seize Kharkiv,” Ukrainska Pravda, March 26, 2024,
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  16. Anton Troianovski, “Putin Calls on U.S. to ‘Negotiate’ on Ukraine in Tucker Carlson Interview,” New York Times, February 8, 2024,; Michael Crowley, “U.S. Rejects Putin’s Latest Call for Ukraine Negotiations,” New York Times, February 9, 2024,
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  17. “Medvedev says ‘Ukraine certainly is Russia’,” TASS, March 4, 2024,; “Medvedev Declares All Ukraine To Be Russian Territory, Promises War Until Capitulation,” Charter97, March 4, 2024,
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  18. Martin Fornusek, “Putin dismisses peace talks ‘just because (Ukraine) is running out of ammunition’,” Kyiv Independent, March 13, 2024,
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  19. Jill Colvin, “Trump says he once told a NATO ally to pay its share or he’d ‘encourage’ Russia to do what it wanted,” AP, February 11, 2024,; Adam Taylor, “Trump’s vague peace plan casts a shadow over Ukraine,” Washington Post, March 21, 2024,; “Can Europe defend itself without America?” The Economist, February 18, 2024,
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  20. Stuart Lau, “France finds Baltic allies in its spat with Germany over Ukraine troop deployment,” Politico, March 8, 2024,; Sylvie Kauffmann, “Volodymyr Zelensky: ‘Your children are not going to die in Ukraine’,” Le Monde, March 11, 2024,; Paul Adams, Jean Mackenzie and Antoinette Radford, “What the leaked Pentagon documents reveal — 8 key takeaways, BBC, April 14, 2023,
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  21. Daria Saburova, “War or peace? A false dilemma in the controversy,” International Viewpoint, March 18, 2024,
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  22. Bojan Pancevski, “In Central Europe, Czechs Go Hunting for Arms for Ukraine,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2024,
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  23. David L. Stern, “Ukraine races to build weapons at home,” Washington Post, March 20, 2024,
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  24. Aurélie Pugnet, “US, Germany remain reluctant to support quick Ukraine NATO accession,” Euractiv, November 28, 2023,
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  25. Jeffrey Goldberg, “The Obama Doctrine,” The Atlantic, April 2016,
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  26. Josh Rogin, “Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine,” Washington Post, July 18, 2016,
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  27. Karen DeYoung, “The U.S. has been rushing to arm Ukraine, but for years it stalled on providing weapons,” Washigton Post, February 27, 2022,; Mark Gollom, “How successive U.S. administrations resisted arming Ukraine,” CBC News, March 5, 2022,
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  28. Kevin Baron, “What the West Has Given Is Not Enough to Win, Ukraine Says,” Defense One, June 3, 2022,; Eugene Czolij, “Sufficient Aid for Ukraine to Win Will Reduce War’s Total Price Tag,” Kyiv Post, October 27, 2023,; David Brennan, “Does the US Actually Want Ukraine to Defeat Russia?” Newsweek, November 26, 2023,; Elliot Ackerman, “The Biden Administration’s Slow Yes Has Doomed Ukraine,” Time, December 18, 2023,
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  29. Simon Childs, “‘A Circus Show’: Why Russian State TV Keeps Threatening to Nuke Everything,” Vice News, May 10, 2022,; “Nuclear risk during the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Wikipedia,

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  30. “Zelenskyy declines US offer to evacuate Kyiv,” AP, February 25, 2022,; Sharon Braithwaite, “Zelensky refuses US offer to evacuate, saying ‘I need ammunition, not a ride’,” CNN, February 26, 2022,; Embassy of Ukraine to the UK, X (Twitter), February 26, 2022,

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  31. “Ukraine’s Zelensky says slow weapons delivery delayed counteroffensive,” The New Arab, July 6, 2023,
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  32. “Ukrainian attacks increasingly sap the power of Russia’s Black Sea fleet,” AP, March 5, 2024, 20044584fb58f6d.
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  33. David Axe, “13 Sukhois In 13 Days. The Ukrainians Are Shooting Down More Russian Jets Because The Russians Are Flying, And Bombing, More Often. Russian losses are unsustainable.” Forbes, March 2, 2024,
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  34. “Russia orders halt on petrol exports,” Al Jazeera, February 27, 2024,
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  35. “US has urged Ukraine to halt strikes on Russian energy infrastructure, FT reports,” Reuters, March 21, 2024,
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  36. Craig Kafura and Dina Smeltz, “Americans Continue to Support Military and Economic Aid to Ukraine: Public Opinion Survey,” Chicago Council on Global Affairs, February 28, 2024,
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  37. Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU), “Appeal of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine,” January 3, 2022, and “KVPU Appeal for Global Solidarity Actions on the Anniversary of Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion of Ukraine,” January 28, 2024,
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May-June 2024, ATC 230

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