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Wednesday Briefing: Senate Votes on Ukraine Aid

Activists waving Ukrainian flags outside the U.S. Capitol yesterday.Credit…Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

U.S. moved toward approving Ukraine aid bill

The Senate is on track to pass the $95 billion package of foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. A final vote is expected in the next few hours, and President Biden plans to sign it.

The bill would be a major boost for Ukraine, where troops are fighting Russia with dwindling stores of munitions. It was stalled for months by Republican lawmakers, which had prompted a wave of concern in Kyiv and across Europe that the U.S. would turn its back on Ukraine.

“What this aid means, in the most simple terms, is guns and bullets,” my colleague Marc Santora, who has been reporting from Ukraine since the beginning of the war, told us.

He said it would also provide “a much-needed boost for the morale of both Ukrainian soldiers on the front and civilians living under the threat of near-nightly Russian drone and missile bombardments.”

The breakthrough in Congress is also a boost for Biden, who has spent months pledging support for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The bill gives him a push at a time when his credibility and U.S. leadership have been questioned on the world stage.

What’s next: The first significant U.S. military aid for Ukraine in 16 months could arrive quickly. “Most military analysts think that it will take a month or two before we see it really change the dynamic on the front,” Marc said.

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