The recent decision by the US House of Representatives to allocate $61 billion in long-awaited aid for Kyiv signals that Ukraine will not suffer the fate of “a second Afghanistan,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday, April 21.

The House on Saturday approved the latest massive package of military and economic assistance for Ukraine as it struggles to hold off Russian forces more than two years since Moscow launched the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“This aid will strengthen Ukraine and send the Kremlin a powerful signal that it will not be the second Afghanistan,” Zelensky said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“The United States will stay with Ukraine, will protect Ukrainians, and... they’ll protect democracy in the world,” he added.

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Zelensky drew parallels to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, which led to years of conflict and eventual US involvement.

In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, triggering a Cold War-era conflict. The United States supported and armed mujahideen fighters, who eventually forced the Soviet forces out after a decade of insurgency.

Following the Soviet withdrawal, Afghanistan plunged into civil war, leading to the rise of the hardline Taliban, who ruled most of the country from 1996 until 2001.

In 2001, after the Taliban allowed the Al Qaeda jihadist group to operate freely, the United States invaded Afghanistan in response to the September 11 attacks, sparking another round of conflict.

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Kallas said that training Ukraine’s forces on their territory would not be escalatory, adding that “Russia’s propaganda is about being at war with NATO; they don’t need an excuse.”

Nearly 20 years later, the United States withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving Afghan forces weakened. The Taliban swiftly regained control, seizing power in Kabul once again.

The bills passed by the House on Saturday, April 20, are the culmination of lengthy negotiations and international pressure, reflecting months of appeals for aid from Zelensky.

The leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, stated that the House bills are expected to pass the Senate this week, namely on Tuesday, April 23.

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The delay in funding has hindered Ukraine’s ability to resist Russian aggression, leaving its troops undersupplied and vulnerable on the front line.

“We really need to get this to the final point,” Zelensky said. “We want to, well, get things as fast as possible so that we get some tangible assistance for the soldiers on the front line as soon as possible. Not in another six months.”

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