Ukrainian servicemen of Azov Brigade fire artillery near Lyman, Ukraine, on April 7, 2024.

Ukrainian servicemen of Azov Brigade fire artillery near Lyman, Ukraine, on April 7, 2024. Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu via Getty Images

Russia could be outshooting Ukraine 10-to-1 ‘within weeks’: EUCOM chief

In House hearing, Gen. Cavoli laid out the consequences of more House inaction on aid.

“If one side can shoot and the other side can't shoot back, the side that can't shoot loses,” the leader of U.S. European Command told House lawmakers on Wednesday, laying out the consequence of continued inaction on aid to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s stock of artillery shells has dwindled in the months since Congress last approved aid to the beleaguered country, Gen. Chris Cavoli told the House Armed Services Committee.

“They have been rationing them. They are now being outshot by the Russian side, 5-1. So Russians fire five times as many artillery shells,” Cavoli said. 

If Ukraine is forced to continue to ration artillery shells, “that will immediately go to 10 to one in a matter of weeks. We are not talking about months,” he said.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has refused to allow a vote on the Biden administration’s $95 billion request for military aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The Senate passed the measure in February, and it is expected to pass the House—if it comes to the floor. Johnson is under pressure from right-wing House Republicans, who have turned against the measure largely because of the influence of former President Donald Trump, who was impeached for conditioning aid to Ukraine on political favors. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a close Trump ally, has already entered a resolution to vacate the speakership, which could cost Johnson his job just as it did his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, under a relatively recent House rules change

“Funding Ukraine is probably one of the most egregious things that he can do,” said Greene. 

The dwindling of U.S. aid over the past months has cost Ukraine on the battlefield and in its civil infrastructure, Celeste Wallander, the assistant defense secretary for international security affairs, told lawmakers at the hearing. 

“We are already seeing the effects of failure to pass the supplemental. The Ukrainians are having to use less artillery,” Wallander said. “The Russians have made some advances. And [the Ukrainians are] having to decide what to defend and that's why the Russian attacks are getting through and really harming the Ukrainian electricity grid.” 

Cavoli and Wallander said a Ukraine defeat would hurt U.S. and European security. 

“Russian nationalists and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin themselves are very public and clear that they believe that the status of the [NATO-member] Baltic states as former elements of the Russian Empire remains unresolved and that is business that they intend to get to,” said Wallander. 

She said that if Ukraine agrees to a ceasefire in which it cedes territory to Russia, a course of action that Trump is advancing, Moscow would likely would eventually resume pursuing its broader territorial ambitions by force, she said. 

“We have to be ready for the fact that [negotiations] probably doesn't mean that Putin gives up on the goal to subvert Ukraine and through Ukraine, Europe,” she said.