Ukrainian troops on the frontline in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, April 11, 2024 (Alex Babenko/AP)

Sunday’s Coverage: US House Agrees $60.8 Billion in Military Aid for Kyiv

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Russia’s weekly oil refining is at its lowest point since May 2023, amid flooding and a slowing of repairs to plants struck by Ukrainian drones.

Russia processed 5.22m barrels of crude a day from April 11 to 17, about 10,000 barrels a day below the daily average of the previous week.

Ukraine’s strikes in 2024, reaching as far as 1,200 km (744 miles) inside Russia, affecting up to 14% of Russian output.

On Saturday, Ukraine attacked eight Russian regions with dozens of drones, setting ablaze a fuel depot and hitting three power substations.


Meeting in Luxembourg, European Union foreign and defense ministers have discussed provision of additional air defense systems to Ukraine, but have not yet made any commitments.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis referred to the US House’s passage of a bill for $60.8 billion for US military aid, “We can be joyous for a day but we have to be prepared for the battle that is coming tomorrow. Therefore there can be no calming down.”

But countries with US-made Patriot systems did not announce any supplies to Ukraine beyond Germany’s pledge, made last week, for one additional battery.

The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Sweden also have Patriot systems.

Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson said Stockholm has already agreed to give air defense support to Ukraine, including the RBS 70 portable system.

Asked about Patriots, Jonson said, “I don’t exclude that possibility but right now we’re focused on a financial contribution but also possibly RBS 70 because that could alleviate some of the pressure on the Patriots.”

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said, “We are well aware of Ukraine’s need for air defense, and especially Patriots and Spain has always done whatever it could.”

At a summit in Brussels last week, other European Union leaders urged Spanish and Greek Prime Ministers Pedro Sánchez and Kyriakos Mitsotakis to donate some of their systems to Ukraine, according to “people briefed on the discussions“. They were told their need was not as great as Kyiv’s and that they did not face any imminent threat.

Greece and Spain have more than a dozen Patriot systems and others such as Russian-made S-300s.


Ukraine’s navy says it knocked another Russian warship out of service early Sunday.

The Russian rescue vessel Kommuna was rendered inoperable in an aerial attack near Sevastopol in occupied Crimea, said Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk.

The Kommuna was the oldest active warship in the world, having been commissioned in 1913.

Ukrainian strikes have sunk, destroyed, or damaged about a third of Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet, breaking Moscow’s blockade that had restricted Ukraine’s exports of grains and other essential goods.


Ukraine’s air defenses destroyed five of seven Iran-type attack drones launched by Russia overnight from occupied Crimea.

All of the UAVs were intercepted over the Odesa region in southern Ukraine.

Russia also attacked Ukraine with three surface-to-air guided missiles fired from occupied areas in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has hailed the US House’s passage of $60.8 billion in aid to Kyiv: “We have lost the initiative. Now we have every chance to stabilize the situation and seize the initiative.”

The House approved the assistance on Saturday in a 311-112 vote, ending a 6 1/2-month blockade by Trumpists and hard-right Republicans. All 210 Democrats were joined by 101 Republicans in support, with 112 objecting.

The bill — along with $26 billion in assistance to Israel and humanitarian aid to Gaza and $8 billion for Taiwan and other Asia-Pacific allies — gpes to the Senate for confirmation this week.

Zelenskiy told US outlet NBC News:

We really need to get this to the final point. We need to get it approved by the Senate….so that we get some tangible assistance for the soldiers on the frontline as soon as possible, not in another six months.

Ukraine’s defenders have been facing Russia assaults, especially on the eastern frontline, as Moscow carries out missile and drone strikes to break energy infrastructure and civilian morale. Zelenskiy said Kyiv is prepaping for a major Russian offensive that is expected before summer begins.

We are preparing. The personnel is preparing. The soldiers are engaged in training….

We are waiting for the weapon systems because we want to have the brigade fully equipped. Some of them are exhausted. We need to replace them. These new brigades, they have to have the equipment.

He concluded, “[We will] send the Kremlin a powerful signal that [Ukraine] will not be the second Afghanistan. The United States will stay with Ukraine, will protect the Ukrainians, and they will protect democracy in the world.”

US Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee said US weapons could be in transit to Ukraine “by the end of the week” if the Senate passes the aid bill on Thursday and President Joe Biden signs it on Friday.

Warner said those weapons will include long-range ATACMS missiles.