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US general warns time running out for Ukraine without US aid

ukrainian service members fire a grad mlrs towards russian troops near a front line in donetsk region
Ukrainian service members fire a BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) towards Russian troops, near a front line in the Donetsk region

The top U.S. general in Europe told Congress on Wednesday that Ukraine will run out of artillery shells and air defense interceptors “in fairly short order” without U.S. support, leaving them vulnerable to a partial or total defeat.

In a sign of how scarce some weapons were, General Christopher Cavoli, commander of European Command, told the House Armed Services Committee that Russia was currently firing five artillery shells for every one fired by Ukrainian forces and that disparity could increase in coming weeks to 10 to one.

“If one side can shoot and the other side can’t shoot back, the side that can’t shoot back loses. So the stakes are very high,” Cavoli said.

“They’re really dependent this year on us, Mr. Chairman. And without our support, they will not be able to prevail,” he added.

Republican House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson is refusing to call a vote on a bill that would provide $60 billion more for Ukraine. The White House is scrambling to find ways to send assistance to Kyiv, which has been battling Russian forces for more than two years.

Russian air strikes on Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region on Wednesday afternoon hit a clinic and a pharmacy, killing at least three people.

Russian attacks have long targeted Kharkiv and the surrounding region, but the strikes have grown more intense in recent weeks, hitting civilian and energy infrastructure.

President Joe Biden’s administration has voiced concern about the lack of funding for Ukraine. Last month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned that Ukraine’s survival was in danger and sought to convince allies the U.S. was committed to Kyiv.

Officials say lack of funding available is already having an impact on the ground in Ukraine, where Russian troops are advancing and Ukrainian forces must manage limited resources.

European support has become more important with Biden struggling to get a big Ukraine aid package through Congress while devoting more foreign policy energy to the war in Gaza. Yet U.S. officials say European support for Ukraine will not be enough.

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