Ukraine on the Brink

Volodymyr Zelensky
As the war drags on with no end in sight, Ukrainian casualties mount, and those who have already been mobilized haven’t been allowed to come home, there’s little stomach for proposals to send more people into the meat grinder. Photo: Alexey Furman/Getty Images
Julia Ioffe
March 13, 2024

As of this morning, there are now two discharge petitions gathering signatures in the House to get around Mike Johnson’s refusal to bring the Senate aid package for Ukraine and Israel—including $60 billion in crucial military assistance to Kyiv—to a vote. The House speaker has vowed to do everything he can to get in its way. American military aid ran out in December and, ever since, the Ukrainian army has been rationing ammunition as it begins to run out. 

“When Russian troops advance and its guns fire, Ukraine does not have enough ammunition to fire back,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said yesterday as he announced $300 million in new Ukraine aid, which the Pentagon shook loose with some creative accounting. But he made sure to point out the obvious: “This ammunition will keep Ukraine’s guns firing for a period, but only a short period. It is nowhere near enough to meet Ukraine’s battlefield needs, and it will not prevent Ukraine from running out of ammunition in the weeks to come. It goes without saying, this package does not displace and should not delay the critical need to pass the bipartisan national security bill.” (Or as one senior administration official told me this week, “There’s no other supply of $60 billion.”)