(Bloomberg) -- As the Kremlin’s full-scale war on Ukraine entered a third year with no end in sight Russia is gaining momentum, exploiting Kyiv’s deficit of ammunition, shortage of troops and delays in receiving military aid. 

Moscow’s troops captured the embattled eastern city of Avdiivka last week, scoring a symbolic victory for Vladimir Putin, who’s looking to extend his rule in elections next month. 

Russia is now probing Ukrainian defenses for more weak spots, forcing Kyiv to spread its dwindling military supplies and soldiers along the 1,500-kilometer (923-mile) front line in the nation’s east and southeast.

US financial support, a crucial lifeline for the Ukrainian military’s ability to keep up the fight, faces formidable obstacles in the Republican-led House of Representatives, even after a joint $95 billion package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan cleared the Senate after months of delay. 

With additional US help in the balance, EU nations have stepped in with a new €50 billion ($54 billion) aid package and a stream of military shipments.

Some Western officials made the trip to Ukraine to pledge continued support for Kyiv’s defense efforts, even as the military headwinds appear to be shifting.  

The European Union stands “firmly by Ukraine. Financially, economically, militarily, morally. Until the country is finally free,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, who was in Kyiv Saturday.

Other leaders making the trip to Ukraine’s capital included Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy joined a videoconference with Group of Seven heads of state on Saturday, during which US President Joe Biden and other leaders pledged their continued support.

In a statement, the leaders said they are “stepping up our security assistance to Ukraine and are increasing our production and delivery capabilities” as well as working to help Kyiv “meet its urgent financing needs, and assist other vulnerable countries severely affected by the impacts of Russia’s war.”

Read more: G-7 Pledges to Sustain Ukraine Aid in Call With Zelenskiy

Zelenskiy and the leaders jointly spoke on the tarmac of Hostomel airport near Kyiv against the backdrop of destroyed jets and burned-out machinery. The Ukrainian leader vowed to hold Putin accountable for the war. 

On Friday, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was in Lviv in western Ukraine for a meeting with Zelenskiy. He promised to continue fighting for the funding in Washington even as it faces obstruction from some Republicans.

Read more: Two Years of War in Ukraine Has Changed the Way Armies Think

Two years in, Ukraine’s position looks drastically different than it did at the same time last year, when the one-year mark came amid a period of military successes. 

Ukrainian defenders dashed Putin’s hopes for a quick victory at the start of what Russia conceived of as a “Special Military Operation” lasting days or weeks, and later forced Russian troops to give up large initial gains near the capital and in the country’s northeast and south. At that point, Kyiv and its allies were optimistic about prospects for a counteroffensive to push Moscow’s forces back. 

Fast forward a year and the counteroffensive faltered in the face of formidable Russian entrenchments, while Ukraine’s military faces a daunting task to fill in the shortage of troops.

The ground war has now settled into a stalemate, with Ukraine needing to ration ammunition along the front lines. Zelenskiy this month replaced popular army chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi. Amid the fighting, Ukrainians continue to die in missile attacks with homes and other property still being destroyed.

Read more: War in Ukraine Is Turning in Putin’s Favor After Months of Stalemate

Ukraine’s reliance on Western weapons, the problems kickstarting its own domestic ammunition production and reluctance to mobilize more troops also weigh on its effort to liberate more territory. 

Still, there’s been progress for Kyiv’s outgunned, outmanned forces. Attacks by explosive-laden naval drones forced Russia to move much of its Black Sea naval fleet out of harm’s way, reopening a stream of Ukrainian grain exports. Western air defense systems and the smart use of highly mobile gunner units have allowed Kyiv to reduce damage from missile and drone barrages and pass the current winter without major power blackouts. 

Ukraine’s new army chief, Oleksandr Syrskyi, called for unity on Saturday and said the path forward would include an “asymmetric air response” to Russian troops. 

US Election 

The larger geopolitical setup promises more uncertainty for Ukraine. Even in Poland, Ukraine’s staunchest ally, local farmers are blocking the border which, as Kyiv fears, may already be hurting its war effort. And in the US, presidential elections in the fall are likely to feature Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. 

Trump is considering scaled-back commitments to some NATO members and a push for Ukraine to negotiate an end to the war if he returns to power, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg his month. 

“Allies remain as resolute as ever in supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes for Ukraine to prevail,” the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Ukraine Council said in a statement Saturday. “We welcome efforts of all allies and partners agreeing bilateral long-term security commitments and arrangements with Ukraine.”

(Updates with readout from G-7 in eighth paragraph.)

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