US weapons could start arriving in Ukraine within days, but it still has a major problem that aid can't fix

  • US weapons could begin arriving in Ukraine in a matter of days, according to The New York Times.

  • Russia is intensifying attacks on Ukraine in the window before aid arrives.

  • There is a vital problem that US aid can't fix: a lack of Ukrainian troops.

The release of a $61 billion aid bill by the US Senate on Tuesday is a massive boost to Ukraine in its battle against Russia's invasion.

According to The New York Times, US weapons could start arriving in Ukraine within days. But on parts of the front line, Ukraine's situation is desperate. And it still has a major problem that aid can't fix: a lack of troops.

"The most important source of Ukrainian weakness is the lack of manpower," Konrad Muzyka, director of the Rochan military consultancy in Poland, told Reuters.

Oleksandr, a battalion commander, told The Washington Post in February that companies in his unit are staffed at around 35% of normal levels.

With this shortage of manpower, Ukraine is fighting off intensifying attacks as Russia seeks to exploit the window before crucial aid arrives, think tank The Institute for the Study of War said Sunday.

US President Joe Biden said he'll sign the US aid bill Wednesday, meaning that US military equipment from bases in Europe can begin arriving in Ukraine in a matter of days.

But it's unclear how long it'll take to arrive in sufficient amounts at the front line to make a difference, with one Ukrainian MP telling The Associated Press it could take months.

In the strategically crucial city of Chasiv Yar in Donestk, East Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the situation is increasingly desperate for Ukraine's military.

Russia has used glide bombs to devastating effect on Ukrainian positions in the city, and Ukrainian forces are being outfired at a 10 to one ratio, the report said.

Russian drone strikes, the report said, mean that crucial supplies and reinforcements aren't getting through.

"During that time, soldiers sometimes run out of food, water and medicine. Attack drones hunt vehicles bringing materiel and fresh troops to the front line. Soldiers with treatable wounds die waiting days for evacuations because no one can reach them," reported The Wall Street Journal.

American weapons will help Ukraine's forces counter the attacks. Meanwhile, Ukraine's government has reduced the draft age from 27 to 25, meaning thousands of new recruits will soon be deployed on the front line.

This week, Ukraine said it had suspended consular services for military-age male Ukrainians abroad, in an apparent attempt to get tough on young men who fled the country to avoid being sent to fight.

In the meantime, Russia is battling against a weakened enemy.

"I would expect the situation to probably continue to deteriorate over the next three months, but if mobilization goes according to plan and the US aid is unblocked, then the situation should improve from autumn onwards,"Muzyka, the Polish analyst, told Reuters.

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