By Askold Lozynskyj

April 25, 2024


The prevailing mood in Ukraine has changed dramatically. It is euphoric almost and America has recaptured a good portion of its recently nearly lost respect and adulation. Ukrainians are much more confident as well. Generally, Ukrainians are fans of America, so the mood swings with each considered victory. It is true that for some time Ukrainian society had been down on America.

President Biden’s speech about quick deliverance was an added factor for optimism. Even in Poland the feeling was palpable. Ukrainian-Polish friendship may prove to be long-term even on a societal level as long as Ukrainian grain is not an impediment to Polish farmers and the Poles recognize that Ukrainians are dying to defend themselves as well as to protect Europe from the scourge of Russian imperialism. Besides American aid, Prime Minister Tusk has been a big attribute of Polish good will.

Following the vote in the House, I wrote to Congresswoman Victoria Spartz who had voted “nay” on Ukraine. I admonished her for her traitorous behavior towards her country of birth. She wrote back, disingenuously:

“The bill completely failed to include funding for border security, as promised. Additionally, the bill allocates $77B to Ukraine: of that, $61B in budget outlays and $16B in a blank check for drawdowns and loans for any foreign country or international organizations, only $13.8B is dedicated only somewhat to military aid. Further, the Spartz Amendment that would have eliminated the $16B blank check written to President Biden in this supplemental package ultimately failed. It is important to know exactly where every American taxpayer dollar is spent, and this bill’s slush fund provides no ability to do so. Congress failed the American people yet again by failing to include any funding for border security in this package.”

The Ukrainian American Congresswoman from Indiana fails to mention that she had manifestly and loudly opposed a bipartisan bill submitted by the Senate that did include border security and aid in one package.

Congresswoman Spartz is not the only problem in the U.S. Congress. There are members Greene, Jordan, Stefanik, Cruz, Vance, Rubio and others. Then there is the frightening spectre of Trump in November unless he is incarcerated beforehand on state charges.

The sun came out in Lviv which is a rare occurrence in April.  The city’s markets were preparing for Easter Week. Ukrainian baked goods and elaborate Easter eggs (Pysanky) are displayed prominently.

Certainly, best of all Ukrainians are not slumbering, lulled into a false sense of security by American apparent goodwill and tangible support. They’ve learned a hard lesson not only over the last six months when American aid was not forthcoming, but also from the past when

American F-16s had been promised and not delivered for a year. Ukraine must rely upon itself essentially, producing its own ammunition, including drones. While the future is not bright, it is at least hopeful.

But the single most potent weapon Ukraine possesses is the spirit of its own people. I received a hopeful text from a Ukrainian soldier, a one-arm amputee from the Cherkassy oblast, that he has been cleared for battle, this time not as infantry but as a sniper.

And so it goes. American military assistance to Ukraine has a two-prong effect. The first is the weaponry which can be measured in dollars, and the second is the spirit-lifting effect not only in Ukraine but throughout Europe which is immeasurable. That is something that the members of the U.S. Congress who voted “nay” on Ukraine seem not to understand.