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The United States is running low on funds to support Ukraine.
Europe Ukraine

The United States is running low on funds to support Ukraine.

The top budget official for U.S. President Joe Biden issued a strong warning on Friday, stating that there is a limited amount of time for lawmakers to renew U.S. assistance to Ukraine. The decision has been stalled in Congress due to ongoing budget discussions regarding immigration, with no agreement reached thus far.

Shalanda Young, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, stated that there is no alternative way to assist Ukraine other than for Congress to approve additional funding for Kyiv as they continue to defend against Russia in a war that has been ongoing for almost two years.

According to Young, the Pentagon may be able to provide some assistance to Kyiv, but without additional funding from Capitol Hill, they will not be able to supply significant amounts of equipment to Ukraine.

Last month, the United States provided Ukraine with a weapons package worth $250 million. However, according to Young, without further assistance from the U.S., Kyiv may struggle to pay its government employees and operate effectively in the face of Russia’s attacks.

During a press conference on Friday, Young expressed worry about Kyiv’s reliance solely on the resources of the United States to counter Putin. This raises questions about the message being sent to other countries and how they will react if they witness the US failing to take action.

North Korean missiles

On Friday, Mykhailo Podolyak, a high-ranking official in Kyiv, posted on the social media platform X that Russia used short-range ballistic missiles from North Korea to attack Ukraine. This statement supports a previous claim made by the White House.

“The disguise is no more. In their genocidal war, the Russian Federation has launched missiles onto Ukrainian territory, using weapons received from North Korea for the first time,” stated Podolyak.

There was no proof given that the missiles came from North Korea. However, the governor of Kharkiv, a region in the northeast, claimed that the missiles that hit the area were from Russia and were not of Russian origin.

Washington released a statement on Thursday, citing declassified intelligence that supports Podolyak’s claims.

John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council, expressed concern over the escalation of Pyongyang’s support for Russia. He stated that the U.S. would address this issue at the U.N. Security Council and impose more sanctions on those aiding in arms transfers.

The allegations have been denied by Moscow.

The United States has accused Pyongyang in the past of providing weapons to Russia. However, this is the first instance of U.S. intelligence sharing specific information about ballistic missiles, which are self-guided rockets capable of reaching targets up to 900 kilometers (560 miles) away.

On January 2, a Russian airstrike hit the regional capital of Kharkiv, causing destruction to the city center and leaving a large crater and debris from the missile. A video captured by a Reuters operator shows the aftermath of the attack.

Dutch researcher and North Korea military expert Joost Oliemans provided Reuters with his footage for analysis. According to Oliemans, the remnants of the missile appeared to be from North Korea.

According to Oliemans, the video displays both the main body and engine section of a missile that closely resembles a type used by North Korea. This type of missile has been previously captured in clear photographs over the past few years.

Russian drone attack

On Friday, Ukraine reported that it had shot down 21 out of 29 Shahed drones that were launched by Russia during an attack that occurred overnight.

The air force of Ukraine reported that drones were destroyed in six different areas of southern, central, and western Ukraine.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the main focus for Ukraine is obtaining more air defense systems and missiles. This is due to the frequent Russian shelling and attacks using missiles and drones on various locations in Ukraine.

Ukrainian drone strikes

Officials reported that numerous Ukrainian drones were shot down by Russia’s air defense systems in occupied Crimea and southern Russia on Friday.

This year, Zelenskyy has promised to target more locations in the Crimean Peninsula and territories near the Russian border, causing concern among Russians as President Vladimir Putin runs for reelection in March.

On Friday, the air raid sirens sounded in Sevastopol, the biggest city in Crimea. The traffic on the bridge connecting the illegally seized Crimean Peninsula to Russia’s southern Krasnodar region was halted for the second consecutive day. This bridge is an essential pathway for Russia’s military resources.

Static front line

According to the British Defense Ministry’s daily intelligence report on Ukraine, there has been no significant movement in the front line of ground combat over the past week. However, there have been some casualties reported. The ministry noted that Avdiivka in central Donetsk is still a heavily contested area, while Russian forces in Marinka have finally made progress and reached the town’s western edge after nine years of fighting in the region. These Russian troops have been attempting to capture the town since taking control of Crimea in 2014.

The ministry reported that Russian airborne forces in southern Ukraine have probably had limited success in removing the Ukrainian Bridgehead on the eastern side of the Dnipro River, near Krynky village.

The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters contributed to the material used in this report.