Republicans voted to block a $110.5 billion emergency spending bill to aid Ukraine and Israel Wednesday night, sparking celebrations in Moscow where they believe the U.S. will withdraw support for Kyiv allowing them to win the war.
A classified briefing with administration officials reportedly devolved into a meltdown on Tuesday afternoon, making it clear that the measure would fail. “We are about to abandon Ukraine,” Senator Christopher S. Murphy told the press as he left the briefing. “When Vladimir Putin marches into a NATO country, they will rue the day they decided to play politics with the future of Ukraine’s security.”
These developments prompted jubilation in Moscow. During Wednesday’s broadcast of a state TV program 60 Minutes, Evgeny Popov said Ukraine was now in “agony” and it was “difficult to imagine a bigger humiliation.”
During his morning show Full Contact on Wednesday, top pro-Kremlin propagandist Vladimir Solovyov joyfully noted: “[Janet] Yellen screamed, “Don’t you dare!” [Joe] Biden screamed, “Don’t you dare!” but Republicans said, “Go to hell! We won’t give your khokhols [slur for “Ukrainians”] any money.” The segment was entitled, “No one needs Ukraine anymore—especially the United States.”
Appearing on his program, America analyst Dmitry Drobnitsky noted, “The downfall of Ukraine means the downfall of Biden! Two birds with one stone!”
During his appearance on 60 Minutes, Dmitry Abzalov, president of the Center for Strategic Communications, predicted that the fiasco with the funding for Ukraine will spell the political demise of Biden. Host Olga Skabeeva added, “We’ll have no pity for him! To the contrary, we’re ready to hammer those final nails right in!” With a happy grin, Skabeeva said, “Well done, Republicans! They’re standing firm! That’s good for us.”
Roman Golovanov, the host of Golovanov’s Time on Vladimir Solovyov’s channel Solovyov Live, pointed out, “This will be a great revelation to other countries. It is even more dangerous to be a friend of the United States than its enemy. In the end, they will abandon you, leaving nothing but the scorched earth on your territory.”
The turmoil comes at a critical point in time, with Russia facing internal issues, while its invasion failed to proceed at the rate anticipated by the experts. The population is tired of the war but is predictably hesitant to express that for fear of being arrested or otherwise persecuted. Instead, many show their displeasure by tuning out the relentless war coverage. On Wednesday, Solovyov noted, “We lived in peace for too long and now we have to get used to living through war... With great interest, I’m observing the negative growth on my Telegram channel, meaning that the number of followers is sharply declining. Oh well, that’s life.” Solovyov previously complained that every day Russians are losing interest in Putin’s war.
The GOP’s willingness to jeopardize Ukraine’s ability to defend itself provided a sudden boost to the faltering Russian propagandists—a crucial element of Putin’s war effort that is used to motivate the masses. In recent months, their rhetoric devolved from “When we win” to “If we win,” reflecting realities on the ground. Winter’s arrival added another layer of concern. The Republicans brought back the joy for Putin’s gloomy propagandists, reviving their musings as to how they will “punish” Ukrainians once Russia wins.
The only news that dampened the celebration in Moscow was the revelation that Taylor Swift–and not Vladimir Putin–was named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year. The host of The Meeting Place Andrey Norkin angrily complained, “Taylor Swift! No one knows who that broad is, but Americans worship her.”
While the Russians are pleased with Republicans, they believe that Donald Trump could do even better. The Kremlin’s mouthpieces make no secret of their desire to see Trump return to the White House and now they have yet another incentive. Appearing on The Evening With Vladimir Solovyov Tuesday night, Dmitry Drobnitsky predicted that if Trump wins the presidency, he will ditch not only Ukraine but also Israel. He explained that he no longer has to demonstrate being a pro-Israel president to his evangelical base. Drobnitsky said, “Trump already gave them all that he could: the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, and everything else. He already paid them in full. Now, after the empire of Sheldon Adelson has turned away from him, he owes them nothing.”
Drobnitsky explained that Putin is meeting with the leaders of the Arab countries to get ready for a time when the region will be freed of American influence.
Vladimir Solovyov predicted that the U.S. will be forced to focus on its internal affairs as opposed to its former foreign interests. Implying there will be a civil war in the United States, Solovyov exclaimed, “The main war will unfold in Washington!” Drobnitsky concurred and added, “It’s impossible to resolve their current situation without repressions and without armed clashes.”