Ukraine ‘will have a chance at victory’ with new US aid, Zelenskyy says

The tens of billions of dollars in long-stalled Ukraine aid approved by the House on Saturday will give his country “a chance at victory,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday.

“I think this support will really strengthen the armed forces of Ukraine, and we will have a chance for victory,” Zelenskyy said through a translator during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Despite significant opposition from some conservatives, the House voted 311-112 on Saturday to approve a bill that would send $60.8 billion to Ukraine. More than $23 billion of which would be used to replenish weapons and stocks provided by the U.S; $13.8 billion that would cover costs for advanced weapons systems. The bill heads to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer teed it up for a Tuesday vote.

Zelenskyy’s comments come after he warned last week that no more aid from the U.S. would mean a Russian victory in the war that recently entered its third year.

“I can tell you, frankly, without this support, we will have no chance of winning,” Zelenskyy said during an interview on PBS NewsHour last week.

In celebrating the funding Sunday, Zelenskyy also emphasized Ukraine’s need for the aid to “end up in tangible weapon systems,” including long-range missiles and air defense.

“We need long-range weapons to not lose people on the frontlines,” Zelenskyy said. Ukraine, Zelenskyy acknowledged, has suffered losses “in several directions” in recent months, particularly in the eastern part of the country.

“And that’s why we need to actually have the weapon systems. When we get it, when we have it in our arms, then we do have the chance to take this initiative and to move ahead and to protect Ukraine,” he added.