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What Happens if the U.S. Stops Aiding Ukraine?

Photo: Contributor/Getty Images
Julia Ioffe
September 27, 2023

As a small but mighty group of House Republicans continues to push us toward a government shutdown, I decided to conduct a bit of a thought experiment. Marjorie Taylor-Greene and members of the Freedom Caucus are adamant that the U.S. stop sending a “blank check” to Ukraine. Others, like Matt Gaetz, have been clear for months that they want zero money going to Ukraine. Back in February, Gaetz introduced a “Ukraine Fatigue Resolution,” which had ten co-sponsors but went nowhere. This summer, though, his amendment stating that “no federal funds may be made available to provide security assistance to Ukraine” got 70 votes in the House. The measure was easily outvoted, yes, but 70 members of Congress is not nothing. 

And so, I thought, what would happen if the U.S. decided to turn off the Ukraine aid spigot? Would Ukraine collapse? Would Vladimir Putin take it as an opportunity to probe NATO?