“As of now, we have provided more than $20 billion in aid to Ukraine. You have heard us say: “We will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes,” the US Secretary of Defense said.
He also stressed that other states are helping Ukraine. Many do this through the Western Contact Group, which the US convenes once a month. According to him, now the Armed Forces of Ukraine are fully prepared to fight in the winter. “I think they will be in much better conditions than their opponents because of what we have provided them,” Austin said. Nevertheless, he made the reservation that the Pentagon did not know how events at the front would unfold.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, once again urged Kyiv to take advantage of the “window of opportunity” for negotiations with Russia this winter. The general is convinced that the chances of completely defeating Russia in the war are “close to zero”, and that it will be “a very difficult task” to oust the Russian army from Ukrainian territory.
“Russia is now on the shoulder blades, the Russian military is suffering a lot,” Milli said and added, “you would like to negotiate at a time when you have the initiative and your opponent is weak.” In Ukraine, they reacted negatively to such a proposal. “When you have the initiative on the battlefield, it’s a bit strange to receive proposals like ‘you won’t be able to do everything militarily anyway, you need to negotiate’,” said Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the presidential office of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, after winning the midterm elections to the US Congress, a group of Republicans led by Marjorie Taylor Green introduced a bill to audit the funds that Washington allocated in the form of military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. According to Green, Ukrainian soldiers with disabilities are “used as pawns” in the halls of Congress “to get our Congress to give Zelensky hard-earned tax dollars.” She stressed that Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and US President Joe Biden said that he “would not defend” her.
Two days before the election, Biden asked Congress for an additional $37.7 billion for Ukraine, of which $21.7 billion should go to defense needs and $14.6 billion to fund the Ukrainian government and humanitarian aid.