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Ukraine updates: Germany’s Scholz welcomes US aid package

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Germany’s chancellor said the decision by US lawmakers to approve more foreign aid for Ukraine was a “strong signal.” Western military experts believe the move will cause Russia to intensify its offensive. DW has more.

Scholz joined other Western leaders in praising the vote in the US House© Michael Kappeler/dpa/picture alliance

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has welcomed the decision by the US House of Representatives to greenlight a major aid package for Ukraine.

Scholz said it was a “strong signal in these times.”

US lawmakers on Saturday voted to pass the $61 billion (€57 billion) package, which had been stalled by political infighting for months.

Meanwhile, US think tank the Institute for the Study of War said that, in the wake of the vote, Russian forces would likely intensify attacks and strikes “to exploit the closing window of Ukrainian materiel constraints.”

Here’s a look at the latest on Russia’s war in Ukraine on Sunday, April 21.

Russian Foreign Ministry slams US House decision on aid package

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova on Sunday said the US military aid package would aggravate global crises.

“The allocation of military assistance by United States to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan will worsen global crisis phenomena,” Zakharova said on the Telegram messaging service.

Zakharova said that “assistance to the Kyiv regime is a direct sponsorship of terrorist activities.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, said in a post on X: “Nothing to celebrate here.”

He wrote that the war would continue and “more money will be pocketed, more weapons stolen and tens of thousands of Ukrainians will go to the meat grinder.”

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, with the two countries now locked in a prolonged war of attrition.

The International Criminal Court has issued a warrant of arrest for Russian President Vladimir Putin over responsibility for alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine since the start of the conflict.

Western military experts anticipate increase in Russian attacks

US think tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said it expects a spike in Russian missile and drone attacks after the US House of Representatives approved more aid for Ukraine.

“Russian forces will likely intensify ongoing offensive operations and missile and drone strikes in the coming weeks in order to exploit the closing window of Ukrainian materiel constraints,” the Washington-based research organization said.

The ISW said that it would still be several weeks before the new US assistance would begin to affect the situation and said that “Ukrainian forces may suffer additional setbacks in the coming weeks while waiting for US security assistance.”

The ISW said that despite the challenges facing Ukrainian troops — who were experiencing shortages in resources and ammunition — Russian forces had only achieved tactical gains during the past six months and “remain unlikely to achieve a breakthrough that would collapse the front line.”

German chancellor says US approval of Ukraine package is ‘strong signal’

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday welcomed the decision by the US House of Representatives to approve a major military and financial aid package for Ukraine.

In a post on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, he called the outcome of the vote “a strong signal in these times.”

“We stand with the Ukrainians fighting for their free, democratic and independent country,” Scholz added.

US lawmakers on Saturday voted to pass the $61 billion (€57 billion) package, which had been stalled by political infighting for months.

The bill was part of a foreign aid and arms package valued at $95 billion (€89 billion) that also includes aid for Israel and Taiwan.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the move would “save thousands and thousands of lives.”

The bill faced opposition from hardline Republicans who had been demanding that stronger controls first be put in place to curb the arrival of migrants at the southern US border.

kb/nm (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)

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