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Ukraine continues to receive bad news unrelated to the battlefield

This month, Ukraine has faced a number of bad news that has nothing to do with losses on the battlefield, Insider reports.

Ukraine has been relying heavily on Western assistance since its protracted war with Russia broke out in February 2022. The Ukrainian counter-offensive launched in June is also proving less successful than expected, despite arms deliveries by Western allies.

Polls have found that support for arming Ukraine has declined among Americans of both political parties. Future prospects for US aid deteriorated further on October 7, when Hamas launched a war with Israel, triggering a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Since the beginning of the Middle East military conflict, the Israel-Hamas war has increasingly attracted Washington’s attention, while the fatigue of military aid to Kyiv is rising gradually.

Nora Bensahel, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and an expert on US defence policy and military operations, told Insider that Ukrainians and their allies are concerned that the war in Gaza could divert resources away from the war in Ukraine.

That focus on Gaza will get even more intense when Israel starts a ground invasion, partially but not only because of the immense humanitarian crisis that will ensue.

US President Joe Biden has asked Congress for a $105 billion military aid package to help Israel and Ukraine, but the request may meet resistance because of new House Speaker Mike Johnson.

“If I were the Ukrainians, I’d also be concerned about the new speaker of the house, since Johnson has been one of the far-right Republicans who has voted to limit assistance to Ukraine.”

Johnson was elected on October 25 following the resignation of Representative Kevin McCarthy. The new speaker has voted against additional aid to Ukraine in the past, though now he claims to remain open to additional funding for Kyiv.

Johnson released a bill Monday that would provide $14 billion in aid to Israel, separating it from a broader package requested by Biden.

The other potentially bad news for Kyiv is that Congress will seek to avoid a looming government shutdown on November 17. Lawmakers avoided a shutdown late last month partly by rejecting new aid to Ukraine.

The country could face new challenges, including the 2024 US presidential election, if the military conflict drags on, according to Simon Miles, an assistant professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and a historian of the Soviet Union and US-Soviet relations.

A Trump presidency will be bad news for Ukraine, and I think we need to take seriously the likelihood that this conflict will not be resolved by then.

In addition to cutting off aid, the US could also place restrictions on what US-made weapons European countries can provide to Kyiv from their own stockpiles.

“I think right now Putin’s plan is to wait for that election, and probably try to use Russian capabilities to influence it, in hopes that it will lead to starving the Ukrainian war effort. I don’t think that will be the end of Ukraine’s capacity to resist, but it will undoubtedly change the character of the conflict.”

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