ukraine faces critical tests as it duels with russia for stamina

With Western support for Kyiv softening and Congress holding up urgently needed aid, Vladimir Putin’s bet on outlasting Ukraine and its allies is looking stronger.

Ukraine faces dwindling reserves of ammunition, personnel and Western support. The counteroffensive it launched six months ago has failed. Moscow, once awash in recriminations over a disastrous invasion, is celebrating its capacity to sustain a drawn-out war.

The war in Ukraine has reached a critical moment, as months of brutal fighting have left Moscow more confident and Kyiv unsure of its prospects.

The dynamic was palpable last week, as Vladimir V. Putin casually announced plans to run for six more years as president of Russia, swilling champagne and bragging about the increasing competence of Russia’s military. He declared that Ukraine had no future, given its reliance on external help.

That air of self-assurance contrasted with the sense of urgency in this week’s trip to Washington by President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who pressed Congress to pass a stalled spending bill that includes $50 billion more in security aid for Ukraine.

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