Home » Ukrainian and Western leaders celebrate US aid, Kremlin warns of “more ruin”

Ukrainian and Western leaders celebrate US aid, Kremlin warns of “more ruin”

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Ukrainian and Western leaders celebrate US aid, Kremlin warns of “more ruin”

kyiv (AP) — Western and Ukrainian leaders welcomed the U.S. House’s passage of a desperately needed aid package, while the Kremlin said the move would bring “more ruin” to Ukraine and cause more deaths. .

The House quickly approved $95 billion in foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies in a rare Saturday session, in which Democrats and Republicans collaborated after months of resistance over renewing Washington’s support for repelling the Russian invasion.

With an overwhelming majority, the $61 billion package for Ukraine was approved in a matter of minutes. Many Democrats cheered in the room and waved Ukrainian flags.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy, who had warned his country would lose the war without American funding, said he was grateful for the decision by American lawmakers.

“We appreciate every show of support for our country and its independence, for its people and way of life, which Russia is trying to bury under the rubble,” he wrote on the social platform X.

“The United States has demonstrated its leadership from the first days of this war. “Exactly this kind of leadership is what is necessary to maintain an international order based on rules and predictability for all nations.”

The Ukrainian president noted that his country’s “warriors on the front lines” would notice the benefits of the aid package.

One of those “warriors” is infantryman Oleksandr, who fights around Avdiivka, the city in the Donetsk region that Ukraine lost to Russia in February after months of intense fighting.

“It is very important for us to have this support from the United States and our partners,” Oleksandr told The Associated Press. He did not give his full name for security reasons.

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“With this we can stop them and reduce our losses. “It is the first measure to have the possibility of liberating our territory,” he added.

The lack of ammunition associated with delays in aid over the last six months has led Ukrainian commanders to ration shells, a disadvantage that Russia has taken advantage of this year by taking the city of Avdiivka and now with advances on the town of Chasiv Yar , also in the Donetsk region.

“The Russians arrive in waves… we end up exhausted, we have to leave our positions. This is repeated many times,” Oleksandr said. “Not having enough ammunition means that when they attack us we cannot cover the area that is our responsibility to maintain.”

In kyiv, some civilians gave their opinion on the American aid package.

“I heard our president say officially that we can lose the war without this help. Thank you very much, and yesterday was a great event,” said Kateryna Ruda, 43 years old.

Tatyana Ryavchenuk, wife of a Ukrainian soldier, mentioned that more weapons were needed and lamented that the soldiers “have nothing to protect us.”

“They need weapons, they need material, they need it. We always need help. Because without help, our enemy can advance further and reach the center of our city,” said the 26-year-old woman.

Other Western leaders praised the passage of the aid package.

“Ukraine uses weapons provided by NATO allies to destroy Russian combat capabilities. That makes us all safer, in Europe and North America,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wrote in X.

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that “Ukraine deserves all the support it can get against Russia.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed, saying the move was “a strong message in these times.”

“We stand with Ukrainians fighting for their free, democratic and independent country,” Scholz said in X.

In Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the approval of aid to kyiv as “expected and predictable.”

The decision “will make the United States of America richer, bring more ruin to Ukraine and result in the death of even more Ukrainians, the fault of the Kiev regime,” Peskov said, in statements quoted by the Russian news agency Ria Novosti.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova also criticized the aid package on social media.

“The allocation of military assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan by the United States will aggravate the global crisis: military assistance to the kyiv regime is direct sponsorship of terrorist activities,” he wrote on Telegram.

“The new aid package will not save, but on the contrary, will kill thousands and thousands more people, prolong the conflict and bring even more pain and devastation,” Leonid Slutsky, head of the Russian State Duma Committee, wrote on Telegram. on International Affairs.

The aid package will now go to the United States Senate, which could approve it as early as Tuesday. The president, Joe Biden, has promised to sign it immediately.

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Morton reported from London.

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