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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv: Time is of the essence

Photo: Ukraine Presidency via Bestimage / IMAGO / Bestimage

The U.S. House is divided over whether it should continue to support Ukraine with military aid. If no agreement is reached, US President Joe Biden's administration could run out of funds as early as the end of the year. Now Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wants to personally ask the US Senate for further support.

Zelensky wants to make clear the urgency of further US aid for his country and will be connected via video to a closed session of senators. This was announced by the Democratic majority leader in the House of Representatives, Chuck Schumer, on Monday evening. He asked everyone to take part in this "important briefing". It is a matter of finding out directly from Zelensky what is at stake.

Time is of the essence: The director of the national budget office, Shalanda Young, had written in a letter to the leadership in both chambers of Congress published on Monday that if the parliament does not act, the government will no longer have any funds at the end of the year to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine or to supply equipment from its own military stocks to Kyiv. US President Joe Biden had already requested a huge billion-euro package from Congress in October, which, among other things, provides fresh money for Ukraine.

Otherwise, Putin will "carry on"

However, the release of new U.S. aid to Ukraine continues to be blocked by a domestic political dispute between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress. More and more Republicans are expressing doubts about support for Ukraine or rejecting it outright. A recently adopted interim budget once again does not include any new funds for Ukraine.

Schumer urged his colleagues to "do the right thing" and move forward with the release of new funds. If Ukraine falls, Russian President Vladimir Putin will "carry on," he warned. Autocrats around the world would be emboldened. Ultimately, it is about defending democracy.

On the ground in Ukraine, the army is currently facing fierce attacks from Russian infantry, artillery and air force on the front line in the east and south of the country. According to Kyiv, Russia's main efforts have been focused for weeks on the frontline city of Avdiivka in the Donbas, which lies close to Russian-controlled Donetsk. In Avdiivka and the surrounding area, 15 Russian assaults were recorded.

In Ukraine, heavy fighting is expected to continue along the entire front. For both sides, it is a battle of attrition, in which Russia currently has the upper hand with its ramped-up arms production.