Russia notes falling U.S. support for Ukraine, says Kremlin

(Reuters) – Russia is watching as U.S. military support for Ukraine declines and Kyiv suffers setbacks on the battlefield, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in interviews made public on Wednesday.

Peskov was speaking to Russian media after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy completed talks in Washington to secure more than $60 billion in new military assistance, held up by disputes in Congress.

“The Kyiv regime promised them that if you give us $100 billion, we will have a victory on the battlefield,” Peskov told the daily Izvestia.

“The Americans now understand that they were duped. There is no victory on the battlefield and, to be sure, Ukrainian forces are rapidly losing their positions. This is an inevitable process.”

Americans, Peskov said, “are truly in the first instance beginning to ask themselves the question: just what are they spending this money on?”

With substantial funding up in the air, Peskov referred to Biden’s announcement of a $200 million aid allocation, saying it was “quite a modest sum in their thinking”.

“This of course puts the Kyiv regime in difficulty and we are going to be following this situation,” he said.

Twenty-one months into Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and a year after Ukraine regained large chunks of occupied territory, the front lines have changed little in recent weeks. Zelenskiy rejects any notion that the war is in a stalemate but acknowledges that a Ukrainian counteroffensive launched in June with Western support has made limited progress.

Peskov, interviewed by the Russia 24 television channel, said Ukraine had promised “phenomenal victories” in the counteroffensive launched as spring weather improved.

“But the snow went away and nothing happened. And the snow fell again and still there is nothing. And Americans are asking, should they still be doing this?” Peskov said.

Biden told Zelenskiy during talks on Tuesday that he would not walk away from Ukraine and nor would the American people.

U.S. lawmakers pursued debate on Wednesday on the question of providing aid to Ukraine and Israel, with Republicans tying both issues to a U.S. border security deal.

Zelenskiy’s visit to Washington ended with no commitment for more U.S. support for Ukraine. Mike Johnson, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, would not agree to support Biden’s request to give Ukraine $61.4 billion.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski)