Billions for Kiev – Does US ‘enlightenment’ change the course of the war?

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The US will once again supply Ukraine with weapons after months of political blockade. At the center of American understanding stands the very politician who has thus far suppressed all efforts. How did the change come about? And isn’t it already far too late to drive Vladimir Putin’s troops out of Ukraine?

Republican Mike Johnson is on paper one of the most powerful men in the United States. As Speaker of the House of Representatives, it was he who prevented a vote on further aid to Ukraine for months – thus significantly contributing to the misery on the Ukrainian front.

He was driven to this by a small, radical core of his party: the Trumpists! They are led by MP Marjorie Taylor Greene, who, based on Putin’s fantasies, describes the Ukrainians as “Nazis”. They recently publicly threatened Johnson that they would remove him from office if he allowed a vote to take place. At the beginning of the year, Donald Trump himself intervened to ensure that similar legislative packages from Johnson and other loyal Republicans failed.

A divine inspiration?
But in recent months, as Ukrainian apartment buildings burned and Putin systematically bombed civil society, Johnson did something that many elected Republicans have now given up: his job. “History will judge us by what we do,” he said shortly before the historic vote at the Capitol.

In addition to divine help, his turnaround on Ukraine consisted partly of information from the American secret services. Johnson, who is considered a religious fanatic and is actually part of the Trump faction, took part in relevant briefings for months. Long discussions also took place in Joe Biden’s Oval Office that apparently left an impression.

Reality catches up with Johnson
American journalists report that personal descriptions of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy particularly shook Johnson’s Christian foundations.

Participants in the secret meetings pointed out that Johnson had become “really aware” of the significance of his earlier blockade. An “enlightened” Johnson recently told reporters: “I believe Vladimir Putin would continue marching through Europe if he were allowed to. I think he’ll go to the Baltics next. I think there could be a confrontation with Poland or one of our NATO allies.”

Johnson’s statements to listen to:

That sounded very different a few months ago. “Mr. Speaker wants to extort billions more for U.S. border protection before he wastes any thought on other lines of conflict that don’t directly border the U.S.

Isn’t the package arriving much too late?
A 180-degree turn later, the bloc pushed billions in new aid for Ukraine through its chamber – with the full support of the Democrats. The US Senate will follow suit this week. The first deliveries are expected within a few days once Biden signs the law. Some of the aid is already available in Poland and elsewhere in Europe, writes the Financial Times. The weapons and ammunition are ready for transport there. But isn’t it already too late for that?

Analysts expect Russia to step up its offensive efforts in the coming weeks. Ukrainian soldiers already have to heavily ration their ammunition along the approximately 1,000 kilometer long front line. Zelensky recently stated that for every Ukrainian artillery shell there are ten Russian projectiles. Army chief Oleksandr Syrsky warned in early April that the situation at the front had “deteriorated significantly.”

Most of it does not flow directly to Kiev
Moreover, much of the $61 billion package is not used directly for Ukraine’s needs. The funds are intended, among other things, to replenish the depleted arsenals of the US and its allies. Despite the new aid, Kiev will have to make do with less than in previous years. And this in a situation in which war enemy Russia is constantly expanding its own production and can also rely on the production capacities in Iran and North Korea.

“The aid comes much too late, as Ukraine lost the initiative in October 2023 due to a lack of materials,” said Kateryna Stepanenko, Russia analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. Since October, Ukraine has lost 583 square kilometers of territory to Russian forces, largely due to a lack of artillery. Russia also had time to prepare for offensive operations expected in late spring or early summer. So the new package is just a much-needed band-aid.

The Ukrainians are tired
Ukraine also has another supply problem. About 300,000 soldiers are deployed directly at the front. New troops are hardly available. The mobilization age, recently reduced to 25, and stricter registration requirements for men performing military service are intended to improve the situation.

Zelensky received members of the US Congress on Monday:

At the same time, the willingness to join the army is extremely low. According to one survey, only 20 percent of eligible 25- to 59-year-olds can imagine fighting in the military. In the EU alone, more than 700,000 Ukrainians subject to military service are registered as refugees. They are unlikely to return to the country before the end of the war.

The US remains a risk factor
It is also completely unclear when the next billion-dollar injection will come from the US. Trump could be re-elected in November. It is currently unclear how he will deal with the war in Ukraine. He was noticeably quiet during the last election.

Two days before the Ukrainian billions were passed, he announced that the “survival and strength of Ukraine” were also important to the US. Which completely contradicts his previous Ukraine policy. His inconsistency remains the only constant in recent days. What is clear at this point is that there is no end to the war in sight.

Is Johnson now a reliable partner for Kiev?
The reality is that Johnson now has to worry about his job as speaker. Marjorie Taylor Greene has already announced her intention to remove the ‘traitor’ from office. This would repeatedly throw the US House of Representatives into chaos and leave it unable to act.

But for Johnson, who was reportedly torn between his office and the billions for Ukraine until the end, another factor plays an important role: his eldest son was recently accepted into the Naval Academy.

“To put it bluntly, I’d rather send bullets to Ukraine than to American guys. My son is going to the Naval Academy this fall. This is a real exercise for me, as it is for many American families,” Johnson told reporters. One thing has become especially clear to the “enlightened” in recent weeks: “This is not a game, this is not a joke!”

Source: Krone

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