US Aid to Ukraine – FINCHANNEL

US Aid to Ukraine – FINCHANNEL

The United States has been a major provider of security assistance to Ukraine, particularly since Russia launched its sweeping invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Since then, the United States has committed more than $52 billion in security assistance to support “Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself against Russia’s aggression, secure its borders, and enhance interoperability with NATO,” according to the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Defense (DOD) (see Table 1).

Screenshot

The FY2022 and FY2023 security assistance packages are funded largely through $48.7 billion in supplemental appropriations. This amount includes $25.93 billion to replenish DOD equipment stockpiles sent to Ukraine through the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA; 22 U.S.C. §2318); $18 billion for DOD’s Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI; PL 114-92, §1250); and $4.73 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF; 22 U.S.C. §2763) for Ukraine and “countries affected by the situation in Ukraine.” An additional $300 million per year is provided for USAI in regular FY2022 and FY2023 appropriations, as well as in continuing appropriations for FY2024.

Screenshot

The FY2024 security assistance packages are funded largely through $28.8 billion in supplemental appropriations. Section B of PL 118-50 includes at least $13.41 billion to replenish DOD stockpiles sent to Ukraine via PDA, $13.77 billion for USAI, and $1.6 billion in FMF for Ukraine and other affected countries. PL 118-50 also established a FY2024 PDA ceiling of $7.8 billion.

Like previous supplemental appropriations for Ukraine, the FY2024 supplemental appropriations also include funds for U.S. European Command operations and related support for the U.S. military. See CRS Insight IN12107, Department of Defense Supplemental Funding for Ukraine: A Summary.

Safety assistance programs

The United States has used security assistance programs and authorities to help build the defense capacity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) through training, equipment, and advice in various areas.
Since August 2021, the United States has been providing defense articles to Ukraine via PDA, which allows the President to authorize the immediate transfer of articles and services from U.S. stockpiles, up to a statutorily established funding limit, in response to an “unforeseen emergency” (22 U.S.C. §2318(a)(1)). Since August 2021, the Biden administration has authorized 57 PDA drawdowns valued at approximately $24 billion (Table 2). Since August 2023, most PDA packages have been transferred under prior authorizations, after a DOD review of PDA overdrafts restored $6.2 billion in FY2022 and FY2023 authority.
USAI and FMF procurement packages include equipment, training, and advice to strengthen Ukraine’s defensive capabilities (see Table 3).

Screenshot

Ukraine has also received assistance under DOD security cooperation authorities, specifically Building Partner Capacity (10 U.S.C. §333) and Defense Institution Building (10 U.S.C. §332), as well as International Military Education and Training. Other State Department- and DOD-funded security assistance has supported conventional weapons destruction, border security, law enforcement training, and counterweapons of mass destruction capabilities.

Through the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, the U.S. Army and National Guard, along with military trainers from U.S. allies, provided training, mentoring, and doctrinal assistance to the UAF through 2022. This training mission was suspended at the start of the expanded Russian invasion. Subsequently, DOD and U.S. allies resumed training Ukrainian personnel, outside of Ukraine, both to operate weapons systems and at the collective unit level.

Delivery of defense equipment

After Russia first invaded Ukraine in 2014, the Obama administration provided Ukraine with nonlethal security assistance. In 2017, the Trump administration announced that the U.S. was prepared to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine.

According to DOD, USAI packages prior to FY2022 included sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, counter-artillery radars, Mark VI patrol boats, electronic warfare detection and secure communications, satellite imagery and analysis capabilities, counter-unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS), aerial surveillance systems, night vision equipment, and equipment to support military medical treatment and combat evacuation procedures. Ukraine has also used FMF, as well as a portion of its national funds, to purchase U.S. defense equipment.

According to the Department of Defense, U.S. security assistance pledged to Ukraine since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion through May 10, 2024 includes the following:

• 40+ High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and ammunition;
• 12 National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS); 1 Patriot air defense battery; other air defense systems; and 21 air surveillance radars;
• 31 Abrams tanks, 45 T-72B tanks and more than 300 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles;
• 400 M113 and 189 Stryker armored personnel carriers;
• 2,000+ Stinger anti-aircraft missiles;
• 10,000+ Javelin and 90,000+ other anti-armor systems;
• Phoenix Ghost, Switchblade and other UAS;
• 198 155mm and 72 105mm Howitzers and artillery;
• 227 mortar systems;
• Remote Anti-Armour Mine (RAAM) systems;
• 9,000+ tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-
Guided (TOW) missiles;
• High-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARMs) and laser-guided missile systems;
• 40,000+ grenade launchers and small arms;
• communications, radar and intelligence equipment; and
• training, maintenance and upkeep.

The administration has approved third-party transfers of U.S.-made defense articles and equipment from several NATO and EU members to Ukraine. Since 2022, NATO and EU members and other allies have provided at least $50 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.

Before and immediately after the renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine, Congress authorized or proposed increased funding levels for existing security assistance authorities. Congress increased the PDA funding limit (22 U.S.C. §2318(a)(1)) from $100 million to $11 billion for FY2022 via PL 117-128, to $14.5 billion for FY2023 via PL 117-328, and to $7.8 billion for FY2024 via PL 118-50.

PL 118-50 continued the provisions of PL 117-328 requiring the Secretaries of State and Defense to report to Congress on measures taken to account for the end use of U.S. weapons transferred to Ukraine. The law also continued a requirement for monthly descriptions of U.S. security assistance provided to Ukraine since February 24, 2022. Additionally, PL 118-50 appropriated $8 million to the DOD Inspector General, including the Special Inspector General for Operation Atlantic Resolve, to conduct reviews of DOD activities to implement appropriated funds.

Discussion about future aid

U.S. policy has increasingly recognized the UAF’s ability to field and operate advanced weapons. Much of U.S. assistance has focused on providing capabilities that Ukraine’s domestic defense industry cannot produce, as well as those that can be deployed directly to the battlefield, to enhance the UAF’s resilience and ability to sustain combat operations. A major focus now is securing and replenishing munitions (both artillery and air defense). In addition, the UAF says it continues to need advanced missile and rocket systems, protected mobility assets (such as armored vehicles), communications, and intelligence support. Ukrainian officials have sought to acquire other advanced systems, including more Western-made main battle tanks, fighter aircraft, long-range missiles, and additional air defense capabilities.

The provision of security assistance to Ukraine increasingly focuses on improving the UAF’s mid- to long-term capabilities, including sustainment, transition to NATO-standard weapons, and the development of Ukraine’s domestic defense industry. Debate continues over U.S. aid to Ukraine, Ukraine’s prospects for warfare amid renewed Russian offensives, the potential for escalation, and the ability of the U.S. defense industrial base to meet growing demand.

Christina L. Arabia, Analyst in Security Assistance, Security Cooperation, and the Global Arms Trade Andrew S. Bowen, Analyst in Russian and European Affairs, Cory Welt, specialist in Russian and European affairs