Western military aid has been key to Ukraine in this first year of war with russia. Without the billions of dollars in war material delivered or committed, perhaps at this moment the fate of the European country would be the same as Crimea, a Ukrainian territory that was annexed by the Russians in 2014.
On February 24, 2022, Russia announced the launch of a special operation for which the president Vladimir Putin defined as the “Demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine”. In addition, Moscow argued that it sought to defend the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, previously recognized by Moscow as sovereign states, “in the face of the genocide by kyiv”.
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Both for the West and for itself. Ukraine Said “special operation” was nothing more than a invasion and declaration of war. Moreover, already during the movement of Russian troops towards the border and the imminent invasion, the US press reported, based on US intelligence sources, that Ukraine would not withstand a war against one of the best armies in the world and predicted that the military sent by Putin would be in kyiv in two days. In short, a fleeting war was expected with a crushing result in favor of the Russians. But this did not happen.
kyiv did not fall for two days despite heavy shelling. The Ukrainian Army resisted and the president Volodymyr Zelensky he became a key figure.
But the situation described above was not going to be sustained over time due to the clear Russian superiority. Thus, from that first phase of the war, Western military aid began to flow to Ukraineespecially by the United States and its NATO partners.
According to the latest update from the German think tank Kiel Institute for the World Economy, until January 24, 2023 Ukraine received military aid or aid commitments of more than $67 billion. Of that figure, the United States contributed 47,000 million dollars.
The United States is followed by the United Kingdom, with 5.2 billion dollars; the European Union, with 3,300 million dollars; and Germany and Poland, with 2,600 million dollars each.
military aid to Ukraine has covered almost all types of equipment, from uniforms, small arms and ammunition to artillery rocket systemsair defenses and armored vehicles increasingly advanced to the extent that this Western push was reflected in positive results on the battlefield, such as the resounding expulsion of Russian troops from Kherson, a city that had been taken at the beginning of the invasion.
At present, the war front line stretches for 1,500 kilometers on a north-south axis in eastern Ukraineaccording to the head of the Ukrainian army, Valeri Zalujny, quoted by the AFP agency.
Russian troops occupy 18% of Ukraine, but, according to General Zalujny, kyiv retook 40% of the territories occupied by Putin’s forces since the start of the invasion.
How long will there be military aid?
Being one year after the start of the war, it is worth asking whether this enormous military aid to Ukraine it will be sustained over time.
For the defense specialist Andres Gomez de la Torremilitary aid to Ukraine it will continue to be a strategic priority for the United States and its NATO allies.
“Since it is a strategic objective for the United States, I believe that military aid will necessarily be sustained over time, and therein lies the great dichotomy, because there is a concept in international relations and security called escalation, which is what you don’t want to get to. There is a lot of debate in the European countries that are members of NATO in the sense of whether or not it is convenient to send, for example, fighter planes such as the F-16. Or in the case of Latin America, where countries like Colombia or Peru have been asked to sell their Russian weapons to the United States so that they can immediately transfer them to Ukraine. But that is putting us on the edge of an international conflict. Gustavo Petro already said no. We are too small countries to get involved in that kind of thing, especially when we still have dependence on Russian military equipment in the Armed Forces”Gómez de la Torre remarks.
Regarding the shipment of heavier and more sophisticated war material, Gómez de la Torre recalls that the philosophy of the transfer of Western weaponry to Ukraine is linked to the scope of thesewhich does not imply going beyond the border between Ukraine and Russia so that the war does not escalate.
“In the transfer of more sophisticated weapons there will be an internal debate on whether or not this will escalate the conflict and if it will put the NATO countries and the United States itself on the brink of a direct confrontation with Russia,” says Gomez de la Torre.
As for the Russians, the specialist maintains that Putin and the high command are using the old nuclear deterrence of the Cold War, when they talk about the possible use of its tactical nuclear weapons and the suspension of their participation in the treaty New START.
Weapons for Ukraine
June was key in the war. That month, the United States handed over to Ukraine the HIMARSa multiple missile launcher system that has been instrumental in the kyiv counter-offensive.
The HIMARSwhose range is 80 kilometers, helped Ukraine to register important advances and to recover territory that had fallen into Russian hands.
Ukraine has also received shells and missiles javelina man-portable weapon designed to destroy tanks and other heavy vehicles.
The United States has also approved the shipment of 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.
It is the main armored car of the United States Army and is Considered the deadliest tank out there.
In December last year, the United States authorized the shipment of Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine. Currently, Ukrainian soldiers are being trained in the use of such a system.
They also received the drones from the United States switchbladeknown as “kamikaze drones”, with “object recognition” capacity to choose targets.
In January of this year, Germany agreed to hand over its powerful tanks Leopard 2 to Ukraine and authorized other countries to supply them as well.
Berlin promised to make available to Ukraine a battalion of 30 or 31 Leopard 2 tanks, model A6, to be manned by Ukrainian soldiers specifically trained in Europe, but days later it said that it could only contribute “half a battalion”.
The UK has promised to send Ukraine 14 tanks Challenger 2.
At the beginning of February of this year, USA announced new $2.2 billion military aid to Ukraine, including ground-fired bombs that could nearly double the range of the Ukrainian strike force against the Russians.
These are the Ground-Launched Small Bombs (GLSDB), small-diameter missiles manufactured by Boeing and Saab that can fly up to 150 km and thus threaten Russian positions.
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.