How the West arms Ukraine

The Indians hired for Russia's Ukraine war
Image: Pixabay

Nearly two years after Russia’s invasion, Western pledges of new aid to war-torn Ukraine are at an all-time low, according to figures released Thursday by the German-based Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

“The dynamics of support to Ukraine have slowed,” the Kiel Institute said in its latest Ukraine aid tracker report, saying pledges of humanitarian, financial and military aid between August and October 2023 fell by almost 90 percent compared to the same period in 2022.

AFP looks at how arms deliveries in particular have evolved over the course of the conflict:

Europe, including non-EU but NATO members the United Kingdom, Norway and Turkey, is the biggest donor to Ukraine, having promised 51.5 billion euros in military aid.

That is more than the 43.9 billion euros promised by the United States.

In all, EU and NATO members have pledged approaching 100 billion euros in military aid to Ukraine, according to Kiel’s figures.

While Europe’s aid is stretched over several years, the weapons promised by the United States have already been delivered or will be within a year.

The United States is still the largest single donor of military aid to Ukraine, ahead of Germany, which has pledged 17.1 billion euros in assistance.

But the most generous countries in per-capita terms remain the three former Soviet states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, with 1.6 billion euros pledged.

However, cracks have appeared in the support of some of Ukraine’s neighbours.

Poland, one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters since Russia’s invasion, said in September it would only fulfil existing arms supply deals with Kyiv after the two countries fell out over Poland’s imports of Ukrainian grain.

Meanwhile, Slovakia’s new government in early November blocked a military aid package worth 40.3 million euros that was planned by the previous administration.

In the first month of Russia’s invasion, NATO allies sent Ukraine mostly defensive weapons but the list quickly expanded to include howitzers, combat helicopters, drones, multiple-rocket launchers and missile-defence systems.

As the war entered its second year, the weapons grew heavier.

In early 2023 Kyiv started to receive the modern Western tanks it had been begging for, including German-made Leopards.

The UK and France sent long-range cruise missiles while the United States sent long-range ballistic missiles.

In February this year, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky began clamouring for Western warplanes to replace ageing Soviet models in providing air cover for a highly-anticipated Ukrainian counter-offensive.

US President Joe Biden in May gave the green light for other countries to provide some of its F16 jets.

Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden have announced that they will give Ukraine some of its planes once its pilots are trained to use them.

A training centre was launched in mid-November in Romania.

With Kyiv’s counteroffensive, which began in June, failing to yield much progress, Zelensky continues to press for more weapons.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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