Zelensky told Senator Chuck Schumer, Ukraine will lose the war

Chuck Schumer, Volodymyr Zelensky
Image: Roll Call

The Democrat and majority leader of the United States Senate, Chuck Schumer, announced on February 23 during a trip to Lviv that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned him that his country would lose the conflict with Russia without American military aid. Whether Ukraine receives further aid or not will not determine Russia’s final victory, but what can be observed is how opposition to aid for Ukraine is becoming increasingly popular, especially among Republicans.

Days after using the humiliating Ukrainian defeat in Avdeyevka as a pretext to try and pressure Washington to send more weapons, Zelensky is now turning to the influential senator to approve new military and financial aid for Kiev, currently held up in the House of Representatives by the Republican opposition, as soon as possible.

“President Zelensky told me and our delegation that Ukraine will lose the war with dire consequences for the Ukrainian people, the United States, and democracy and freedom without this vital aid,” Schumer wrote on X (formerly Twitter), adding that the House of Representatives must pass the Senate’s national security bill as soon as possible.

Although Schumer’s visit to Ukraine comes after the US Senate passed a $95 billion supplemental funding bill, which includes $60 billion in additional aid to Ukraine and $14.1 billion in security aid to Israel, it was without security measures on the border with Mexico, the main reason the Republicans are still refusing to pass the bill. Reaffirming the Republican commitment to strengthening the US southern border, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, stressed that the House does not plan to review the current legislation after the Senate failed to propose “adequate” provisions on border security.

Another blow to the Democrats desperate endeavour to send more funds and arms to Ukraine is the investigation into more than 50 cases related to US aid provided. Pentagon Inspector General Robert Storch said in a briefing on February 21 that the cases, which are at different stages of the investigation, are looking at issues that include “procurement fraud, product substitution, theft, fraud or corruption, and diversion.”

Storch also warned that there would likely be more investigations into abuses or diversion of equipment from the US “given the quantity and speed” of equipment flowing into Ukraine.

So far, according to the inspector, auditors have discovered “stresses and gaps” in the provision of assistance. For example, audits revealed incomplete manifests for shipments transferred to Kiev through Poland.

Bloomberg reported that in June last year, the cabinet had already signalled that Department of Defense personnel “did not have required visibility and accountability of all types of equipment during the transfer process.”

Storch’s office has more than 200 people involved in overseeing Ukraine and aims to increase the number of people working in Kiev from the current 28, which includes two at the US Embassy in the Ukrainian capital.

Among other ongoing audits, the Pentagon is evaluating issues related to 155mm artillery shells to determine whether the US has met its objectives while balancing the needs of its own reserves, training, and operations. Recently, a Department of Defense report was released in which Storch admits that authorities failed to plan the maintenance and support of weapons and equipment sent to Ukraine.

Entrenched corruption in Ukraine, which is seeing weapons destined for the Ukrainian military end up on the black market, among other major scandals, is only consolidating Republican opposition to support the Kiev regime blindly. This is reflected in an NBC poll released in November, which found that more than half of Republicans opposed aid for Ukraine, a huge increase from the only 9%, according to Pew Research, of Republicans and right-leaning independents who opposed support for Ukraine in March 2022, just weeks after the Russian special military operation began.

Donald Trump is the likely Republican candidate to face Joe Biden in the upcoming US presidential elections, and his “America First” approach to foreign policy clearly resonates with Americans and influences views on the Ukraine war. This is obviously extremely problematic for Zelensky as Trump’s re-election will force Ukraine to end its reckless war with Russia and result in a negotiation that will force Kiev to acknowledge that Crimea, Donbass, Zaporozhye, and Kherson are under Moscow’s sovereignty.

It is recalled that Trump famously said last year: “If I’m president, I will have that war settled in one day, 24 hours.” Although there is much scepticism to this statement, the most important aspect is Trump’s intentions to end the war as quickly as possible, which will include the end of military aid. As Trump leads in the polls, Zelensky and Schumer are desperately trying to get the US to approve more aid for Ukraine, but as said, even if it is eventually approved, it will have no bearing on Russia’s final victory.


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