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Only the US Congress Can Stop Ukraine from Winning

Some people on Russian propaganda channels already refer to former US President Donald Trump as “Our Trump,” presumably because of perceived support received in the past. These same people will be delighted if Trump’s acolytes in the House of Representatives manage to subvert the current US effort to support Ukraine.

WASHINGTON, DC – Helping Ukraine win its war against Russia is essential for European and global security. The good news is that the United States and its allies have recently taken two major strategic steps in the right direction, providing more capable weapons, and limiting Russian fossil-fuel revenues. The bad news is that the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives threatens to ruin everything with a fight over the federal debt ceiling.

To understand what is at stake in Ukraine, think about a scenario in which Russia “wins,” in the sense that it keeps some or all of the territory it has seized. This would strengthen President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power and embolden him to expand Russia’s borders again. After all, that is what happened after the lame Western reaction to his land grab in 2014, when he occupied Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine. Multiple voices on Russian propaganda channels are clear that the ambition is both territorial (most of Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltics, and parts of Poland, though not necessarily in that order), and strategic (defeat of the West and its values). Nothing that Russia wants is secret at this stage, as Julia Davis’s exceptional coverage of these voices makes clear.

To stop Russian aggression, two things are necessary: defeat on the battlefield and limits on current and future revenue from the international sale of oil and gas.