Ukrainians Wait, Nervously, to See if U.S. Will Provide Critical Aid

From the bloody trenches of the battlefield to crowded cities battered by Russian bombardments, millions of Ukrainians waited in nervous anticipation as the United States Congress prepared, after months of delay, to decide if America will resume providing their country with critical military support.

Private Pavlo Kaliuk, who has been fighting to slow the Russian advance after the fall of the city of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine earlier this year, was on his way to the funeral for a fallen soldier when reached by phone on Friday.

“I am walking and thinking that maybe it’s my friend who died at war, who is up in the sky now, who will help the world and United States to support Ukraine,” he said.

Ukraine cannot rely on divine intervention; instead it is counting on the House of Representatives to approve a $60 billion aid package on Saturday.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has made the stakes clear, saying this week that without American support his country could not win the war. William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director, was even more blunt when asked what happens if American military assistance does not resume.

“I think there is a very real risk that the Ukrainians could lose on the battlefield by the end of 2024, or at least put Putin in a position where he could essentially dictate the terms of a political settlement,” he said on Thursday in remarks at the Bush Center Forum on Leadership in Dallas.

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