In Forcing Ukrainian Aid out of the US Federal Budget, Republican Right Crosses the Line


By passing an emergency U.S. federal budget without new funds for Ukraine, the political right has crossed a line. It is incumbent on those who value human dignity to invest everything possible in defeating Russia.

Although the U.S. has not yet halted its military support for Ukraine, Republicans conditioned their approval of the emergency federal budget over the weekend on canceling additional aid for Ukraine. In doing so, they made it clear what looms if the Republicans win the presidential election in 2024: abandonment of Ukraine and its people, who have courageously resisted Vladimir Putin for the last 1 1/2 years, while giving free rein to the Putin-fascists who dream of European domination. Ukraine is facing a short-term shortfall of the $24 billion in funding President Joe Biden requested from Congress to winterize the country’s air defense, reconnaissance and ammunitions systems. At the same time, Russia is reportedly scaling up its military budget by around $45 billion to $111 billion in order to reinvigorate its stalled war against Ukraine. Western military aid to Kyiv led by Washington and London has so far prevented Ukraine’s destruction. However, should Donald Trump or another influential member of the U.S. right win the November 2024 election and move into the White House in January 2025, the U.S. would step back from its leading role. It is doubtful whether there would still be much help left for Ukraine. Leadership for humanity is in short supply in Europe.

Extreme Right-Wing Rhetoric Is Becoming Socially Acceptable

Right-wing extremists who celebrate Putin as a like-minded political figure are on the rise across Europe. In many European countries, their rhetoric makes it socially acceptable to keep the victims of bombings in Ukraine or refugees drowned in the Mediterranean Sea away from their daily reality. For the extremists, compassion for these fellow human beings is treason, and such an accusation is gradually catching on in mainstream society.

How long will it be before Friedrich Merz* begrudges Ukrainians seeking medical help in Germany or Elon Musk shuts off internet access for organizations rescuing refugees? Fortress Europe gets along just fine while entire groups of people perish somewhere else. The main thing is that they don’t come here and want something from “us.” It is the same mentality that is now becoming politically effective among the U.S. right.

Saturday’s vote for an interim spending bill excluding Ukrainian aid marked the beginning of Washington’s retreat from a humanitarian world order. It can be undone, but it has crossed a line and it is likely to happen again. Anyone who wants to continue living in Ukraine and who cares about human dignity must now invest everything in a victory against Russia.

*Translator’s note: Friedrich Merz is the leader of German’s opposition Christian Democratic Union Party.

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About Anna Wright 23 Articles
I am a London-based translator, who got properly hooked on languages and regional affairs, while studying German and Russian at Edinburgh University, followed later by an MA in Politics, Security and Integration at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. I have worked in Language Services for many years and hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Translation from the Open University.

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