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Ambassador: Ukraine facing 'critical shortage' of missiles, military hardware

by Dmytro Basmat February 9, 2024 4:45 PM 2 min read
Oksana Markarova, Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S., attends a meeting with the Senate Ukraine Caucus and members of the Ukrainian and Polish Parliaments in the Capitol Visitor Center to discuss the Russian invasion on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
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Ukraine is facing a "critical shortage" of military hardware, including missiles, urging U.S. lawmakers to support a $60 billion aid package for Ukraine, Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova said in an interview with Bloomberg published on Feb. 8.

"We still have enough people who want to fight — there is no choice, actually for us, we are defending our homes — but we’re running out of equipment, especially missiles and interceptors," Markarova told Bloomberg. "We need this support yesterday.”

Ukrainian officials and foreign allies have acknowledged that the impasse on aid has impacted Ukraine's battlefield capabilities.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, said in a recent statement that the country is facing a "critical" shortage of artillery shells.

Umerov said that Russia presently possesses the capability to launch three times the number of shells per day compared to Ukraine.

Markarova expressed renewed optimism that a $95 billion "Plan B" funding package for Ukraine and Israel will successfully pass through Congress.

The U.S. Senate on Feb. 8 voted to proceed with a stripped-down foreign aid package that includes funds for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan without reforms to border policy, potentially paving the way for passage after Republicans blocked a bipartisan border security and foreign aid bill.

“I was so happy to hear that it was a very strong bipartisan support, not yet final of course, just the first step in the right direction,” she said. “There is no alternative to continuing this support.”

Senators may be forced to vote in a session over the weekend, a rare occurrence for the chamber.

It's not yet certain that the bill will be able to win the votes needed for final passage in the Senate, and its fate in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is uncertain, with Speaker Mike Johnson vowing that a previous version of the bill would be "dead on arrival."

“We have to do everything possible in order for the U.S. to stay strong and continue supporting us," Markarova added.

Senate advances Ukraine, Israel aid in procedural vote
The U.S. Senate voted to proceed with a stripped-down foreign aid package that includes funds for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan without reforms to border policy, potentially paving the way for passage after Republicans blocked a bipartisan border security and foreign aid bill.
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