Ukraine's Losing Its Greatest Asset

ukraine's losing its greatest asset

Ukrainian Presiden Volodymyr Zelensky is seen during a press conference on November 21, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. A new report shows a dramatic drop in newly committed aid for Zelensky’s defenses against invading Russian forces.

Foreign aid has been widely cited as one of the main reasons Kyiv has found success in fighting Russia’s military, but a new report shows Ukraine has experienced a dramatic decrease in the amount of newly committed aid in recent months.

The report from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel) showed an 87 percent drop in new aid packages from August to October when compared to the same period last year. The current amount of committed aid is also the lowest level recorded by IfW Kiel’s Ukraine Support Tracker since January 2022, the month before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion.

The data from IfW Kiel shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky still receives significant support from the United States, Germany and other countries to bolster his nation’s defenses. The support recorded by the organization includes both financial aid and military equipment such as tanks and fighter jets.

However, Christoph Trebesch, head of the team producing the Ukraine Support Tracker and director of a research center at the Kiel Institute, said in a press release that “our figures confirm the impression of a more hesitant donor attitude in recent months.”

“A further delay [in more aid] would clearly strengthen Putin’s position,” Trebesch said.

Funding for Ukraine has become a hot button in the United States, and Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday blocked a supplemental funding bill in a procedural vote that included aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The package would have provided $61 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Before the Senate’s vote, the administration of President Joe Biden announced an aid package for Ukraine that provides up to $175 million of arms and equipment.

Newsweek reached out to the White House via email for comment Thursday night.

“Helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression and secure its future advances our national security interests and contributes to global stability around the world, and we need Congress to act immediately,” the U.S. State Department said in a press release about the $175 million package.

Trebesch sounded a warning note if American support continues to be held up.

“Given the uncertainty over further U.S. aid, Ukraine can only hope for the EU to finally pass its long-announced EUR 50 billion support package,” he said.

Even still, the IfW Kiel report noted that Ukraine can still count on incoming aid from multi-year pledges from countries such as Denmark, Norway and Germany.

Another change in Ukraine aid reflected in the report is an increase of military equipment as opposed to financial support. At the moment, the United States remains the largest military donor, with commitments of $47 billion.

“We generally observe a further shift towards military aid, in particular in the bilateral aid patterns,” Trebesch said.

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