Ukraine Passes Israel to Become Biggest Recipient of US Military Aid in Matter of Months
16:22 GMT 17.05.2022 (Updated: 16:39 GMT 17.05.2022)
The Senate advanced $40 billion in additional proposed US assistance to Ukraine on Monday, with the final passage of aid package expected to take place as soon as Wednesday. Last week, Senator Rand Paul temporarily held up the bill by requesting some oversight for the billions in taxpayer dollars Washington plans to shovel in Kiev’s direction.
The United States has sent over $3.8 billion
in military assistance to Ukraine since late February - over 30 percent more than it has over the eight-year war in the Donbass, and making Kiev the single largest recipient of US arms aid in 2022 so far.
Between 2014 and 2021, as post-Euromaidan coup governments in Kiev sought to crush the fledgling Donbass independence movements by force, Washington provided the country with $2.7 billion
in "lethal and non-lethal" military aid, including Humvees, sniper equipment, patrol boats, Javelin anti-tank missiles, and training.
President Joe Biden stepped up arms aid, approving over $335 million in assistance between the time he stepped into office in early 2021 and the escalation of the crisis in the Donbass at the start of this year.
After Russia and its Donbass allies kicked off their military operation in Ukraine in February, the US delivered thousands of Javelins, AT4 anti-armour systems, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Mi-17 helicopters scavenged from Afghanistan, radars, grenade launchers, a host of small arms, M777 and M198 howitzers and artillery, armoured personnel carriers, drones, jamming equipment, and other aid.
The $3.8 billion in assistance, which does not account for over a billion euros more in military aid from Washington’s European allies, has made Ukraine the single largest recipient of US military aid in just a matter of months. For comparison, in 2020, Israel received $3.3 billion in US military assistance, with Afghanistan and Egypt getting $2.7 billion and $1.3 billion during the same year.
The new $40 billion combined military and "humanitarian" aid package making the rounds in Congress includes $19.75 billion in new defence assistance, including $6 billion in weapons and training, $8.7 billion to replenish US stocks, $4.4 billion for United States European Command, and $600 million for the Defence Production Act.
Moscow has accused the US and its NATO allies of engaging in a “hybrid war” against Russia, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying Tuesday that the West was using Ukraine as “expendable material”
in the confrontation.
Late last week, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov warned that the supply of deadlier and deadlier weapons was dragging Washington deeper and deeper into the conflict, harbingering “the most unpredictable consequences for the two nuclear powers”.
The Senate advanced
the new $40 billion aid bill on Monday. Republican Senator Rand Paul held the bill up last week, requesting more oversight regarding where US tax dollars would be delivered. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stressed that Paul’s “obstruction” would “not prevent Ukraine aid from ultimately passing the Senate”, while Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Paul as an “isolationist voice” within his party.
Last week, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene was one of 57 Republican lawmakers who voted against the new Ukraine bill, which passed with a 368-57 margin.
“$40 billion. But there’s no baby formula for American mothers and babies. An unknown amount of money to the CIA in the Ukraine supplemental bill, but there’s no formula for American babies and mothers. $54 million in COVID spending in Ukraine, but there’s no formula for American babies and mothers. $900 million for non-profits and organizations in Ukraine. But there’s no formula for American babies and mothers. $8.7 billion for ‘economic support’ and funding in Ukraine. But there’s no formula for American mothers and babies. If this is about claiming it’s about saving lives, let’s be real, then we would care about war-torn countries like Ethiopia. So that’s a bunch of hypocrisy, because I never hear Ethiopia brought up here”, Taylor Greene said.
The congresswoman accused Washington of ignoring the baby formula shortage, the crisis on the US’ southern border with Mexico, as well as soaring inflation and gas prices. “Stop funding regime change and money laundering scams and US politician coverups of their crimes in countries like Ukraine”, she urged
Senior Democrat Jamie Raskin responded by accusing Taylor Greene of “repeating Putin’s propaganda and disinformation and appeasing imperialist assaults on sovereign nations”.