The US Congress passed a stopgap funding bill Saturday that helped avert a government shutdown but did not include additional funding for Ukraine.
Speaking from the White House Sunday, President Joe Biden vowed the US “will not walk away” from Ukraine. A bipartisan group of leaders in the US Senate also promised to vote on more aid for the country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that a drop in US support could have severe consequences for the war effort.
CNN spoke with Ukrainians in Kyiv Sunday to see how they feel about the situation:
Volodymyr Kostiak, Ukrainian serviceman
“These are internal American games. And Ukraine is a hostage to this discussion — this internal war,” Kostiak said.
“America’s strategic interests are so big that Ukraine is part of them,” he added. “And I think that the internal political struggle cannot affect the assistance to Ukraine that much. There will be some errors, but they will be insignificant.”
Kostiak said the fight over funding Ukraine is due to the political realities of the 2024 US presidential election, but he believes the possibility the US would actually stop helping Ukraine is slim.
“The US budget has been suspended 20 times in history, and never once has it led to any serious consequences,” the serviceman said. “So I don’t see this as a big problem for Ukraine.”
Tetiana Ostapchuk, logistician
“I haven’t heard about this decision yet, but I can say for sure that we really need support from other countries, because we can’t do it alone,” Ostapchuk said. “Aid is very important. If it suddenly happens that America will no longer help us, then we will all fight to keep our land free. To the last man. But it would still be easier with aid.”
Natalia, an English teacher, and Serhii Krasnoshchoks, an entrepreneur
“Yes, we have seen the news, but we think that there will be aid to Ukraine anyway. We hope so very much. And of course, we will be grateful for any help. The more, the better,” the pair said.
Mykhailo Chendei, store administrator
“I think it’s impossible (that the US will stop helping Ukraine). No one will leave us without aid,” Chendei said.
“Now it’s an internal American issue. But I believe that our government also needs to show changes,” he continued, alluding to Kyiv’s ongoing purge of corruption in the government.
“We need to show America, Republicans and Trumpists that we will change the country,” he said, referring to supporters of former President Donald Trump, who has expressed skepticism about aid for Ukraine. “Ukrainians already want to do this. We do not agree to live under these rules, with corruption. We need new rules. If we show a little bit of results — and our army is already showing them — then I hope everything will be fine.”
Yulia Mueller, chief accountant
“I think that, in general, there may be a situation where the aid will stop, because a large percentage of Americans are unhappy that their money is being sent to Ukraine, that Ukraine is far away, that there is no threat to the US,” Mueller said.
“On the other hand, it seems to me that all sane people who see the atrocities that have been and are happening here now — how entire cities are being wiped out — understand that this can spread to other countries as well,” she continued. “If America stops helping us, there will be very difficult consequences for everyone.”