Don’t Let the New Right Diminish Support for Ukraine Aid
America is still the arsenal of democracy.
The most important story in the world right now is what is happening in northeastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian army has achieved a breakthrough that few thought possible. Two weeks ago, I wrote a newsletter arguing that the tide was turning back in Ukraine’s favor. I was very cautiously optimistic. I argued that Russian troops appeared vulnerable, but that we shouldn’t expect a true Ukrainian breakthrough.
Rarely have I been so happy to be wrong. I knew Russian troops were vulnerable (though I was concentrating on Kherson and not Kharkiv Oblast in the north). I did not know how vulnerable they were. Few people did—until the Ukrainian offensive in Kharkiv shattered the Russian front in that region. Let’s put these gains in perspective.
First, here’s the map. Ukraine recaptured more land in a week than the Russians captured in months of grinding attacks in the east:
Second, this bit of detail from the U.K. Ministry of Defence—about damage done to the Russian army—is possibly even more important than Russia’s geographic loss:
To put it in plain English, Russian forces aren’t simply losing, many of their best units are facing catastrophic losses of men and material. And so far, Russia hasn’t fully mobilized either its manpower or its economy to fight this war. It is not producing advanced weapons at the rate necessary to replace battlefield losses, much less expand the force.
I want to be perfectly clear—the overwhelming credit for this astonishing turn of events goes to the Ukrainian military and the Ukrainian people. They’re the ones who have sacrificed beyond our comprehension. Their cities are in ruins. It is their blood on the battlefield. And I shudder to think what would have happened if Volodymyr Zelensky had fled Kyiv in the fateful, terrifying first hours of Russia’s assault.
At the same time, Americans should take a measure of pride in our bipartisan response. It should be grateful for the Biden administration’s resolve. Decades after two world wars, we’ve proven once again that our nation is the arsenal of democracy, and it’s hard to imagine Ukraine’s military resilience without the flood of primarily American aid. The UK has been magnificent as well, but look at this chart:
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Dispatch to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.