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Syrskyi drawing up two war plans contingent on US aid, Zelensky says

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 26, 2024 10:19 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a flag hoisting ceremony in Izium after the Ukrainian forces took control of the city from the Russian forces in Kharkiv Oblast on Sept. 14, 2022. (Metin AktaÅ/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi is developing two versions of the war plan in case Kyiv receives U.S. aid, and if it does not, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview to CNN, published on Feb. 26.

On Feb. 13, the Senate passed the bill, which contains $60 billion in aid for Ukraine, after months of deadlock, but has for now still been blocked from the floor of the Republican-led House of Representatives.

According to Zelensky, without U.S. assistance, Ukraine will struggle in 2024 not only to prepare for new offensive, but to simply defend along the current front line.

One version of Syrskyi's plan assumes that if Washington provides assistance, Ukraine will be able to start pushing back Russian troops, and if not, it will focus on defense, the president said.

Zelensky noted that he has discussed funding for Ukraine with U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson who has so far refused to put the bill to a vote in the U.S. House, instead declaring recess until the end of February, and said he “was feeling optimistic” after the conversation.

“If they (U.S.) will change their minds, it’s a big problem for us,” Zelensky said, adding that he had asked U.S. President Joe Biden to have Democrats and Republicans meet to reach a deal on aid for Ukraine.

Delays in U.S. aid have already had an impact on the ground in Ukraine. The loss of Avdiivka, a city in Donetsk Oblast that has been on the front line since 2014, was linked to shortages in artillery shells and other supplies provided by the West.

‘Our reserves will run out:’ Ukrainian artillery sounds alarm on Western shell shortage
Hiding beneath sparse winter cover in a crude, muddy ditch, a great steel monster lies in wait for an opportunity to attack. Adorned on either side with painted plus signs, the gun’s huge barrel looks up at the sky over the Bakhmut front line, across which thousands
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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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