© Sputnik InternationalUkraine's destroyed T-64 tank is seen in the Russian special operation zone.
With its supply of Western weapons dwindling and little sign of change from the NATO powers, Ukraine will be incapable of launching another counteroffensive like last summer, an analyst told Sputnik. However, barring a mutiny or political crisis, a collapse of the Ukrainian war effort isn't necessarily imminent.
White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young told federal lawmakers on Monday that the US was "out of money to support Ukraine in this fight."
"There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money - and nearly out of time," Young wrote. "Without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from US military stocks."
According to Pentagon statistics, the US has sent Ukraine some $44 billion in military aid since February 2022, as well as $76 billion
in other types of support, including budget financing and humanitarian aid. US President Joe Biden has asked for billions more to be approved, but the Republican majority in the House, now led by Ukraine skeptic House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), has remained cool to the idea without improvements in oversight.
The news also comes as the Pentagon failed its audit for the sixth year in a row
Moscow-based international relations security analyst Mark Sleboda told Radio Sputnik's The Final Countdown on Monday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was correct in a way: Ukraine is indeed entering a new phase of the conflict - a defensive phase, as it waits and hopes that time will bring favorable changes to the situation
"Just last week, the Pentagon announced that all of the Middle East deployments that the US has made, sending air defense forces and aircraft carrier battle grounds around the Middle East to support Israel in its conflict with Palestine, and the Pentagon's like 'actually, we're all out of money, we don't have money to pay for this'. So it's rather interesting times, maybe that $30 trillion accounting black hole is finally coming back to haunt the Pentagon, although I suspect congressional relief is somewhere around the corner, maybe that will have to wait until after the holidays, though."
"But it is definitely having an effect on the battlefield in Ukraine. There was already a trend because of the US and collectively NATO's inability to ramp up their own industrial production to provide their Kiev Regime proxy with enough of the war basics like artillery shells, air defense missiles, and many other things that it needed
. And now, that is coupled with the fact that Kiev is competing with Israel for many of the same things, which have been on the demand list ... for Israel for what it needs for its conflict. And Zelensky is finding himself second-fiddle, vying not only for attention and supplies and funding" from the US and European Union, which he said had hit a "speed bump" in attempting to support both Kiev and Jerusalem at once
."Kiev Regime forces are experiencing massive shell hunger. I saw a video posted by Ukrainians of a couple of them at a position in East Ukraine, their shell allotment for the day had arrived, it came in a truck: two artillery shells. They collapsed into laughing and very obscene swearing in Russian,"
Over the weekend, NATO
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance "should also be prepared for bad news"
from Ukraine, noting that wars "develop in phases" and that the West should continue to support Kiev "in both good and bad times."
"This is an amazing admission," Sleboda said of Stoltenberg's words. "It's like the Western mainstream media in many ways has turned on a dime
. It was just a couple months ago that we were told that Ukraine is still winning and their victory in the great glorious NATO southern counteroffensive is right around the corner and Russian forces are about to break, and I think you could be forgiven for thinking that the consumers of Western mainstream media must have whiplash from how quickly everything has turned. The Economist, the British news weekly, one of the most virulently Russophobic news mags out there, the last cover was 'Is Putin Winning?'"
"For Zelensky, this is really a case of 'the emperor has no clothes,'" Sleboda said, noting that other figures had turned against him, too, including anti-Russian journalist Simon Shuster, who quoted Ukrainian officials calling Zelensky "delusional" and claiming he won't hear talk of Ukraine losing the conflict, and Kiev Major Vitaly Klitschko had called Zelensky "authoritarian.""Evidently, Zelensky and his own top general, [Valery] Zaluzhny, aren't talking - for months now," he said. "Zelensky is issuing orders to his own generals beneath Zaluzhny directly, telling them what to do ... and military decisions are being made by a comedian. Not a good idea."
"I guess the Western propaganda is failing, and when the mainstream media is already out in front of him, even Jens Stoltenberg has to turn it around and admit certain things, although it must be said that these admissions are not coming in front of the media, they're coming behind it, he simply no longer has any propaganda spin for maneuver."
Sleboda said he agreed with Zelensky that Ukraine had entered a new phase of the conflict."Their offensive days are over, there is no large new offensive package from the West anywhere within sight, there's not even enough maintenance aid to continue basic supplies of anything at this point. So the next year is solidly about desperate defense, building defensive lines, and a much-talked-about new total mobilization, meaning mass, forced conscription, that could possibly include 17- to 70-year-olds now and possibly women being conscripted for combat roles. And, evidently, it is going to be privatized, the last months of conscription having failed miserably, they are now evidently going to turn to private companies, which literally means Westerners coming in and help press-gang Ukrainians off the streets and putting them in the trenches."
"The plan is simple: the plan is defense, desperately try to mass conscript more people, and hope that something changes," Sleboda said. "Hopium and defense."
However, he cautioned that modern battlefield technology makes defense much less costly than offense, so "it does not necessarily mean a collapse of the Kiev Regime military," adding that the bigger danger to the government was a mutiny or a political crisis.