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Ukraine live briefing: Zelensky vows to fight Russia ‘as long as it takes’; E.U. foreign ministers meet in Kyiv

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, center, attends a ceremony in Kyiv on Sunday to honor the memory of Ukrainian soldiers. (Presidential Press Service/Handout/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to continue fighting the Russian invasion “for as long as it takes” amid the wavering commitment among some U.S. Republicans to fund the ongoing war effort. There is no “expiration date” or “end date” short of victory, he said in a defiant veterans day speech.

On a trip to Kyiv, the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, reiterated the bloc’s unbending commitment to Ukraine. “Maybe it’s not being seen like this for everybody around the world,” he told reporters Monday, “but for us Europeans, it’s an existential threat.” E.U. foreign ministers will convene in Ukraine’s capital for an informal meeting later Monday, Borrell announced.

Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.

President Biden sought to reassure Ukrainians, saying he hoped Republicans would “keep their word” after a funding bill that averted a U.S. government shutdown over the weekend did not include more aid for Kyiv.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) were among the Republican leaders signaling that more aid for Ukraine is in the pipeline during television interviews. McCarthy, who linked that support to increased U.S. border control efforts, is also facing a potential challenge to his leadership that could further complicate U.S. aid plans.

Ukraine’s foreign minister expressed his confidence in U.S. lawmakers to support Kyiv’s war effort. “We are now working with both sides of the Congress to make sure that it does not repeat again,” Dmytro Kuleba said Monday, referring to the omission of aid for Kyiv. Kuleba framed Ukraine’s war effort as a global fight for a rules-based order: “What is at stake in Ukraine is much bigger than just Ukraine. It’s about the stability and the predictability of the world,” he said.

Borrell said he is convening a “historic” meeting of E.U. foreign ministers in Kyiv on Monday in a show of the bloc’s commitment to its “future member.” Over the weekend, he promised to push European industries to keep producing the ammunition Kyiv needs. During a visit to Ukraine over the weekend, he said the current supply plan is on “a good track.”

Another challenge to Western unity on Ukraine policy may come from Slovakia after pro-Russian populist Robert Fico and his party won the country’s parliamentary elections over the weekend. If Fico’s Smer party leads a coalition government, as appears likely, it could threaten Slovakia’s strong support for Ukraine, with which it shares a border.

Russian shelling killed one person and injured six others in the Kherson region, its governor, Oleksandr Prokudin, said on Telegram on Monday. Two children were among those injured in the attacks, he said, which damaged residential buildings, a kindergarten, a church and a gas pipeline.

The Ukrainian air force warned Monday that Russian forces are using tactical missiles in front-line areas in southeast Ukraine. Missile attacks were repelled in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions early Monday, air force officials said on Telegram.

Russia is engaging in tactical counterattacks in Robotyne, in Ukraine’s southeast, amid a months-long offensive by Ukraine in the area, according to the Institute for the Study of War. The situation is fluid, and some trenches have “changed hands several times,” the Washington-based think tank said, citing geolocated footage.

The United States is the biggest financial supporter of Kyiv’s fight against Russia: Washington has committed more than $60 billion in aid to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February 2022, including more than $43 billion in military aid, Ruby Mellen and Artur Galocha report in a visual look at U.S. spending during the war.

“These are off-the-charts numbers,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He likened the figures to U.S. commitments to European countries at the end of World War II. The Marshall Plan, when adjusted for inflation, came to about $150 billion over three years.

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