Military News

Last aid package to Ukraine announced unless Congress approves more

Since August 2021, the Department of Defense has conducted 54 drawdowns from its inventory to supply military equipment to Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
Miguel Ortiz Avatar
(U.S. Air Force)

Since August 2021, the Department of Defense has conducted 54 drawdowns from its inventory to supply military equipment to Ukraine in its fight against Russia. The latest security assistance package, announced on December 27, 2023, is valued by the DoD at up to $250 million. It is also the last aid package that will go to Ukraine until Congress approves further assistance.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shakes hands with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Washington, D.C., Dec. 11, 2023 (DoD)

Leading up to and following the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the United States and other allied nations have provided military equipment to support Ukraine. This aid has escalated in both type and quantity. Germany, a country that previously refused to send heavy weapons to war zones, went from sending first aid and medical supplies to artillery and tanks. Still, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, the U.S. has sent over $46 billion in military aid to Ukraine. The next three highest supporters are Germany which has sent $18.1B, the United Kingdom which has sent $6.9B, and Norway which has sent $3.8B as of October 31, 2023.

M1 Abrams tanks in Germany used to train Ukrainian troops (U.S. Army)

From January 2020 to December 2023, a huge amount of varied military equipment has been sent by the U.S. to Ukraine. Helping to combat the initial Russian armored assault force, over 100,000 anti-armor systems and munitions have gone to Ukraine, including 10,000 FGM-148 Javelin missiles. Defending Ukraine’s skies, over 2,000 FIM-92 Stinger man-portable surface-to-air missiles have been sent. Nearly 300 155mm and 105mm howitzers and nearly 3 million rounds of accompanying ammunition have gone to Ukraine along with 186 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and 31 M1 Abrams main battle tanks. Other allied nations have sent some of this equipment from their own stockpiles.

Ammunition has been a significant portion of the military aid sent to Ukraine (U.S. Air Force)

In a letter to Congress, DoD comptroller Michael McCord informed lawmakers that the department will use the remaining $1B authorized by Congress to replace U.S. weapons inventories sent to Ukraine by the end of December. Meanwhile, Congress remains divided on authorizing additional funds. “A majority of Republicans are against sending more money to Ukraine in the House of Representatives,” Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told reporters in October 2023.

Additional military aid to Ukraine needs approval from Congress (U.S. Air Force)

However, not all GOP members share Gaetz’s view. “Providing Ukraine support is in our national security interests and not something that should be a wedge issue or political football,” Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) tweeted the same month. “If war criminal Putin takes over, it’s going to be far worse than the fallout of the failed withdrawal of Afghanistan.” In November 2023, the UK MOD reported that Russia has lost over 2,400 main battle tanks, 15% of its pre-war inventory, along with 93 fixed-wing aircraft and 132 helicopters. Russian casualties were reported to be 302,000 killed or wounded in addition to an estimated 100,000 casualties suffered by the Wagner Group private military company.