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McConnell's exit signals shift in Republican support for Ukraine

by Olena Goncharova February 29, 2024 3:54 AM 2 min read
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters after a closed-door lunch meeting with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol Oct. 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's impending departure from his leadership role in November signals a significant shift in Republican support for Ukraine. McConnell, a prominent advocate for aiding Kyiv against Russian aggression, has played a pivotal role in securing military assistance and funding, Politico reports.  

McConnell of Kentucky, who is the longest-serving Senate caucus leader in history, said on Feb. 28 that he will step down in November. He plans to keep his seat in the chamber.

Over the past two years, McConnell has been vocal in urging for military aid to Ukraine while criticizing President Joe Biden's perceived delays in providing support. He emphasized the economic benefits of aiding Ukraine, highlighting how such funding also supports American defense manufacturers and creates jobs across multiple states.

Despite McConnell's forthcoming exit from the leadership, he remains committed to U.S. global leadership, emphasizing the importance of a recent $95 billion emergency spending bill to aid Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel.

The Senate's recent bipartisan efforts to approve security assistance to Ukraine faced resistance within the Republican ranks.

After months of bipartisan negotiations, the Senate approved a foreign aid bill that allocates $60 billion for Ukraine. Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has thus far refused to put the bill to a vote in the House, instead calling a recess until the end of the month.

With McConnell's departure, the dynamics surrounding Republican support for Ukraine funding are expected to shift, Politico writes. Potential successors to McConnell, such as Senators John Thune, John Cornyn, and John Barrasso, may bring differing perspectives on this matter, potentially impacting future decisions on aiding Ukraine.

Ukraine war latest: Russia attempts to push Ukrainian troops out of Krynky using ‘human waves’
Key developments on Feb. 28: * Military: Russia uses ‘human wave’ attacks near Krynky in Kherson Oblast * Belgium pledges $216 million to Czech ammunition initiative for Ukraine * Bulgaria to send 100 armored vehicles to Ukraine ‘in few days,’ defense minister says * Von der Leyen urges Europe…
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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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