Putin says Ukraine would last ‘a week’ if Western military support stops | Russia-Ukraine war News

Putin’s prediction comes as issues mount about way forward for US funding for Ukraine amid political turmoil in Washington.

Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned Ukraine couldn’t survive for greater than “a week” with out Western military and monetary help, a declare made on the identical day as a European Union official warned that the bloc couldn’t exchange the funding hole if support for Kyiv from the United States dried up.

Putin made his remarks on Western funding for Ukraine as fears mount that political turmoil in Washington may jeopardise essential military and humanitarian help that Kyiv requires to battle Russia’s invasion. US President Joe Biden admitted this week that he “does worry” US support for Ukraine might get derailed.

Speaking on Thursday at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club, a Moscow-based assume tank, within the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin mentioned that Ukraine was being propped up “thanks to multi-billion donations that come each month”.

“If one just stops, it will all die in a week,” Putin mentioned.

“The same applies to the defence system. Just imagine the aid stops tomorrow. It will live for only a week when they run out of ammo,” he mentioned.

Putin additionally claimed that Ukraine had misplaced greater than 90,000 troops since Kyiv’s counteroffensive in opposition to Russian forces started in June.

At a gathering of the European Political Community (EPC) in Spain on Thursday, EU overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell mentioned the EU couldn’t exchange the US as Kyiv’s main donor.

“Can Europe fill the gap left by the US? Well, certainly Europe cannot replace the US,” Borrell mentioned.

The EU and the US – collectively comprising most NATO members – are very important in Ukraine’s combat in opposition to Russia. The EU and its member states have promised greater than $100bn in multi-year support to Ukraine, together with financing weapon deliveries. Washington has dedicated $43bn in military help, whereas Congress has permitted $113bn, which incorporates humanitarian help.

But new US funding for Ukraine has been placed on maintain as a part of a weekend deal struck with opposition Republicans to avert a US authorities shutdown.

The removing by hardline Republicans of their very own House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy this week has added to the uncertainty round help for Ukraine. Some of the hardliners need US help to Ukraine to stop.

Jim Dubik, a senior fellow on the Washington, DC-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) assume tank, mentioned that Putin is relying on NATO and the US to wane of their support for Ukraine, and up to date occasions within the US Congress play into Putin’s arms.

“By cutting aid to Ukraine, Congress is directly supporting Putin’s desire to divide the alliance … Congress’s recent action does not manifest the strategic leadership the world expects of the United States,” Dubik mentioned in a remark posted on social media.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, talking to the assembly in Spain of European leaders on Thursday, expressed concern about Washington’s “political storms” however mentioned he was assured he nonetheless had US bipartisan backing.

Leaders on the EPC summit mentioned Putin’s calculation was that the West would change into fatigued at long-term support of Ukraine, handing him a path to victory.

“I think Russia wants us to be tired,” Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas mentioned, including: “We should show them that we are not. We have to help Ukraine as long as it takes.”.

French President Emmanuel Macron bolstered that message in a gathering with Zelenskyy, pledging “tireless” support for Ukraine.

But throughout the EU there are fissures.

Slovakia introduced it has frozen choices on military help to neighbouring Ukraine following parliamentary elections on Sunday which have been gained by former Prime Minister Robert Fico’s SMER-SSD occasion, which campaigned on a promise to finish military support for Ukraine and sanctions on Russia.

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