Senior Biden administration officials say they believe that the next four weeks will shape the eventual outcome of Russia’s war in Ukraine, with long-lasting ramifications that will influence the drawing of the map of Europe for decades to come.
While the officials still expect the war to be long and grinding, they say that it is imperative to rush Ukraine as many new weapons as possible — especially long-range artillery and anti-artillery radar — to push back Russia’s new advance in the eastern Donbas region.
Reflecting the renewed sense of urgency, President Biden announced on Thursday that the US would send Ukraine an additional $800 million in military aid, the second such package in just over a week.
Biden said the latest aid package sent “an unmistakable message” to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia: “He will never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine.”
In remarks at the White House, Biden said that while the US would announce many details of the arms it is shipping to Ukraine, some of the weaponry would be kept secret. The President borrowed, and modified, a famous line by Theodore Roosevelt, saying that the US would “speak softly and carry a large Javelin”, a reference to the anti-tank weapon that the Ukrainians have used effectively against Russian armour.
Determined to move swiftly, defence secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, spoke with allies around the world this week and characterised the next month as pivotal.
If Russia can push through in the east, Putin will be better positioned at home to sell his so-called “special military operation” as a limited success and claim he has secured protection for Ukraine’s pro-Russia minority, American officials said.
(New York Times News Service)