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Pentagon: US 'working hard' to rush aid to Ukraine, battlefield situation 'concerning'

by Martin Fornusek May 15, 2024 11:30 AM 2 min read
U.S. Department of Defense Press Secretary Gen. Patrick Ryder holds a press conference at the Pentagon on Aug. 22, 2023 in Arlington, Virginia. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
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The U.S. is working hard to ship defense aid to Kyiv amid a renewed Russian push in northeastern Ukraine, Pentagon spokesperson Major General Pat Ryder said on May 14.

Moscow's troops launched a new offensive into northeastern Kharkiv Oblast on May 10, just as heavy battles continued to rage further east.

"It's a challenging situation on the battlefield right now in Ukraine," Ryder said during a press briefing.

"But all accounts are that they (Ukraine) continue to take measures to defend their territory," Ryder said, adding that the U.S. is going to do "everything we can to get them the critical munitions and supplies that they need."

After six months of delays, the U.S. Congress approved a $61 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine in April. The Pentagon warned that it will likely take some time before its effects are felt on the battlefield.

When asked by a journalist whether the precarious situation at the front was caused by the months-long delay in U.S. aid or by a better position of Russian forces, Ryder said that it was likely a combination of several factors.

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"It was not helpful to have this pause in security assistance," the spokesperson commented.

"Clearly... you've got other partners around the world that are providing aid to Ukraine. But the Russians have exploited the situation on the battlefield and are attempting to make advances.

"Incremental as they may be, it's certainly concerning. And we're going to continue to work closely with Ukraine and our international allies and partners to get them the security assistance they need."

Ukraine's ammunition shortages, compounded by the delays in U.S. aid, contributed to the loss of a key front-line city of Avdiivka in February. Heavy fighting continues along the front, mainly in northern Kharkiv Oblast, the Donetsk Oblast town of Chasiv Yar, and elsewhere.

48 hours in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s most-bombed major city
The first signs that something ominous is happening in Kharkiv come as soon as the train from Kyiv reaches the suburbs of the city – as two pillars of smoke appear in the distance, every single phone in the carriage erupts with a piercing electronic squawking. “I guess we’ve arrived,
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