| 23 July 2024, Tuesday |

Zelenskiy pushes US for more aid, invites Trump to Ukraine

Soldiers dug in along the front line in Ukraine’s war-torn Donetsk area revealed how Russian artillery had increased dramatically in recent weeks but remained below peaks witnessed a year ago as both sides struggled to advance.

With the sound of outgoing and incoming artillery crashing in the background, Vitaliy, 22, one of three artillerymen operating a Hiatsynt howitzer, claimed he had noticed an uptick after returning from leave last month.

“If Russia will kill all of us, they will attack NATO countries and you will send your sons and daughters [to fight],” Zelenskiy said according to a transcript of an interview with NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ airing on Sunday.

U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has pressed the U.S. Congress to pass a $106 billion supplemental spending bill, with the bulk of the money going to bolster Ukraine’s defenses and the remainder split among Israel, the Indo-Pacific and border enforcement.

The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives has instead put forward its own funding plan. It passed a bill last week to provide $14.3 billion in aid to Israel, but did not include any increase in aid for Ukraine.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, majority leader of the Democratic-controlled Senate, said he would not bring the House bill to a vote and Biden has vowed to veto it.

In the interview airing on Sunday, Zelenskiy invited former U.S. President Donald Trump, a Republican, to visit Ukraine and see the fallout of the conflict initiated by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in February 2022.

Trump, who is seeking reelection in 2024 and is the leading candidate for his party’s presidential nomination, has been sharply critical of U.S. support for Kyiv and has said he could end the war in 24 hours if reelected.

“If he can come here, I will need … 24 minutes to explain to President Trump that he can’t manage this war,” Zelenskiy said. “He can’t bring peace because of Putin.”

  • Reuters