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Zelensky rallies for international aid, warning of ‘artificial deficit’ of weapons

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky repeated his plea for additional international aid and warned allied countries that an “artificial deficit” of weapons risks giving Russia space to attack.

Zelensky was speaking at the Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of security and foreign policy officials, where he emphasized that Ukraine is nearing the two-year anniversary of defending itself against Russia’s attacks.

He said that his troops are hindered by low ammunition supplies and a shortage of personnel. Zelensky emphasized his military strength in beating Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Associated Press reported.

“Ukrainians have proven that we can force Russia to retreat,” he said. “We can get our land back, and Putin can lose, and this has already happened more than once on the battlefield.”

“Our actions are limited only by … our strength,” Zelenskyy said.

He pointed to the Ukrainian withdrawal of troops in the eastern city of Avdiivka, because the military was concerned about saving “the lives and health of soldiers” and to move to a more favorable position. The Ukrainian leader added that his military particularly needs help in artillery and long-rage capabilities.

“We’re just waiting for weapons that we’re short of,” he said.

The leader’s pleas continue as a $60 billion aid package that’s been in the works in Congress for months remains stalled. The foreign aid package was eventually passed — not without hiccups — in the Senate earlier this week, but faces a rough road in the House, where Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has said he does not approve of the measure.

The White House criticized Johnson for allowing the House to go on recess without bringing the aid package to the floor for a vote.

But, House Republicans have argued that any foreign aid bill needs be paired with funding for border security. A bipartisan group of moderates in the House unveiled new legislation Friday that would couple the two, despite a similar Senate bill failing to pass earlier this month.

The Associated Press contributed.

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