Just as Congress over the weekend passed its short-term funding package which narrowly avoided a government shutdown by dropping assistance for Ukraine, President Biden has warned that time is running out on available aid. He told Congress to "stop playing games" with urgently needed funds and weapons.
"We cannot under any circumstances allow America’s support for Ukraine to be interrupted" the president had said, and added, "We have time, not much time, and there’s an overwhelming sense of urgency." Biden vowed he will "not walk away" from supporting Kiev. Just before those late Saturday remarks, CNN reported the following words of a top US defense official as follows:
A top official from the Pentagon told lawmakers on Friday the Department of Defense "has exhausted nearly all available security assistance funding for Ukraine," offering stark warnings about the battlefield effects of failing to pass new assistance.
Under Secretary of Defense Michael McCord has also warned in a letter to Congress that "Without additional funding now, we would have to delay or curtail assistance to meet Ukraine’s urgent requirements, including for air defense and ammunition that are critical and urgent now as Russia prepares to conduct a winter offensive."
The Kremlin on Monday reacted to the ongoing Washington fight over whether to fund the Ukrainians for next fiscal year, and amid the White House dire warnings that time is fast running out on approved aid.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Ukraine fatigue and war weariness on the part of the Western public "will grow" from here on out.
"Fatigue over this conflict — fatigue from the completely absurd sponsorship of the Kyiv regime — will grow in various countries, including the U.S.," he said, according to AFP. But he still acknowledged that Washington would nonetheless "continue its involvement in this conflict."
Peskov pointed to broader fragmentation and disunity as the war enters its 20th month. "Fatigue will lead to the fragmentation of the political establishment," he emphasized.
Last month, the biggest development related to this disunity was NATO/EU member Poland's declaration that it will not longer fund and supply new arms for Ukraine, saying it must focus on its own defense. Ukraine supporters now fear more in the Western alliance may peel off, given also they see the conflict as a losing cause.
#Poland: More than one million protested and joined rally in support of the #Polish opposition party.— News Bulletin (@newsbulletin05) October 1, 2023
Poland is holding Parliamentary elections on 15 October while relations with #Ukraine are at a 2 year low and many #Poles are complaining of war fatigue. pic.twitter.com/Ks6XueFKyW
US mainstream media also been increasingly open for the first time about the "fatigue" gripping the West. Days ago, CNBC wrote that "Ukraine is trying to keep its international backers close as the spillover effects of the war with Russia — as well as the thorny issues of diplomatic gaffes, conflict fatigue and elections — threaten to upset its alliances and damage support for its cause."
"Opinion polls in both Europe and the U.S. carried out this summer show there has been an overall decline in support for measures backing Ukraine, particularly when it comes to additional funding and the supply of military equipment," the report underscored.