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Putin believes Ukraine will fall within just months without new US aid, says Senate Intelligence Chair

Sen. Mark Warner
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) speaking with reporters after attending a closed-door, classified briefing for Senators at the US Capitol Building on February 14, 2023 in Washington, DC.Getty Images
  • Senate Intelligence Chair Mark Warner said Putin believes that Ukraine will fall in just months.

  • Warner drew his assessment from US intelligence after senators blocked a $175 million aid package.

  • "Vladimir Putin's hopes for victory rest on the US walking away from Ukraine," he said.

Senate Intelligence Chair Mark Warner said Vladimir Putin believes that Ukraine will fall within just months without renewed US military aid.

Sen. Warner asked, "Why, at this moment in time, would we prove Putin right?"

Warner made the statement on Wednesday after the Senate failed to hit the 60-vote threshold required to advance a new "crucial" military aid package to Ukraine.

"Vladimir Putin's hopes for victory rest on the US walking away from Ukraine," Warner wrote.

The $110bn package proposed by President Joe Biden allotted $61bn for Ukraine, as well as funds for Israel and aid for Gaza, was blocked.

Republican senators want the package to include the US border security measures.

The Democratic senator from Virginia hailed Ukraine for "decimating the military and morale of one of our chief geopolitical adversaries in Vladimir Putin's Russia without the loss of a single American or NATO soldier."

But all Senate Republicans voted against it, alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who raised concerns about funding Israel's "current inhumane military strategy" against Palestinians, per Reuters.

In a letter to the Senate Democratic Caucus a day before the vote, Sanders expressed "deep" concerns about providing $10.1 billion for Benyamin Netanyahu's "right-wing extremist" government to "continue their current inhumane military strategy, which has already taken 16,000 Palestinian lives, 70 percent of whom are women and children," he said.

Republican senators, for their part, blocked the package because it lacked tougher measures to stem immigration at the US-Mexico border, per Reuters.

Following the vote, President Joe Biden echoed Warner's comments: "Republicans in Congress are willing to give Putin the greatest gift he could hope for and abandon our global leadership, not just Ukraine, but beyond that," according to The Hill.

The deadlock could directly play into Putin's hands, as the war appears to have reached a violent stalemate along the front lines in eastern Ukraine, Business Insider's Paul Squire reported.

Only 0.2% of Ukraine's land changed hands from January 1 to September 25, according to an analysis by The New York Times, based on data from the Institute for the Study of War.

And Ukraine's counteroffensive has failed to achieve any significant breakthrough despite six months of hard fighting, Business Insider's Chris Panella reported.

Congress's delay in extending aid to Ukraine will "very likely make it impossible to continue liberating territory and create a high risk of losing the war," Andriy Yermak, head of Ukraine's presidential office, said, per The New Voice of Ukraine.

Read the original article on Business Insider