(Bloomberg) -- Ukrainian authorities were jubilant at the approval in the US House of more than $60 billion in aid, though the focus is shifting to how quickly assistance can get to the front line and how the package will change Kyiv’s fortunes in its fight against Russia’s invasion. 

For Ukrainian forces in an increasingly precarious position after months of waiting, the anticipated passage of the military and economic assistance is a bittersweet moment. Since US President Joe Biden proposed the aid Kyiv’s military has been increasingly hamstrung as stocks of ammunition dry up and Kremlin forces press their advantage on the battlefield. 

The legislation passed by the House late Saturday will likely make it to Biden’s desk this week after the Senate takes up the package as soon as Tuesday. 

“This support will really strengthen the armed forces of Ukraine,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, through an interpreter. “We did lose the initiative. Now we have all the chance to stabilize the situation and to overtake the initiative.”  

Ukraine is in constant contact with the US in an effort to ensure the “package has the right things, which are so much awaited by our warriors on the battlefield,” Zelenskiy said in his regular address to the nation on Sunday. “The time between political decision and real hitting of the enemy on the front line must be as short as possible. Now, every day matters.”

Read more: Zelenskiy Says US Aid Gives Ukraine Means to Retake Initiative

But whether the long-awaited aid will enable a decisive change in Ukraine’s fortunes on the battlefield is another question. Stepped-up missile and drone attacks by Moscow’s have wiped out parts of Ukraine’s power-generating infrastructure and destroyed residential buildings in city centers, driving up the war-battered nation’s civilian death toll.  

The US Defense Department could get weapons moving to Ukraine “very quickly” once the aid bill clears the final hurdle, Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said last week. Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, said Friday that delivery logistics have been in the works all along. 

“The Pentagon and our Defense Ministry didn’t stop working daily together at finding weapons, identifying them and such packages are being prepared,” Markarova told Ukrainian television.  

Some of the equipment, which will likely include longer-range Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, could be on the way by the end of the week, Democrat Mark Warner, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Painful shortages in weapons and manpower along the 1,200-kilometer (930-mile) front, along with a dire need for more air defense systems, have pushed Ukraine’s fighting forces close to a breaking point, raising the risk of a Russian breakthrough. Moscow has also escalated its bombardment of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, in what Ukrainian and Western officials see as a bid to force an evacuation of the city, less than an hour’s drive from the Russian border. 

‘Seriously Damaged’

Even if US materiel moves quickly, transport logistics will likely mean the aid “will not begin to affect the situation on the front line for several weeks,” according to analysts at the US-based Institute for the Study of War. 

“The frontline situation will therefore likely continue to deteriorate in that time, particularly if Russian forces increase their attacks to take advantage of the limited window before the arrival of new US aid,” the analysts said. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces, seeking to benefit from the widening gap in ammunition supplies, have ratcheted up their firepower all along the front, and made marginal gains since capturing the eastern city of Avdiivka in February. 

Kremlin troops are focusing on strategically key spots, such as the town of Chasiv Yar, west of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, as they currently out-gun Ukraine’s army in artillery on the battlefield 10-to-one. 

“The Ukrainians have been seriously damaged and their armed forces are weaker than they would have been otherwise,” Phillips O’Brien, a professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, wrote after the US House vote. “At least now, however, with a major infusion of US aid, the Ukrainians should be able to stabilize the line.” 

In contrast with a year ago, when warmer weather brought with it hopes for a second summer offensive by well-armed Ukrainian forces, the failure of that campaign and dwindling assistance from allies have darkened the public mood. 

“This is good news from the US to bolster military morale, even before the aid is coming,” a Ukrainian artilleryman who identified himself only as Taras said before the Congressional vote. 

But had it arrived earlier, he added, “and our losses might have been lower.” 

--With assistance from Volodymyr Verbianyi, Olesia Safronova, Natalia Drozdiak and Jennifer Jacobs.

(Updates with Zelenskiy comments from the fourth paragraph, Warner’s from ninth)

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