Ukraine is becoming a graveyard for Russian military personnel and hardware. It is reported that just 5% of the U.S. defense budget has destroyed about 50% of Russia’s military in Ukraine. Most of the weapons sent by the U.S. to Ukraine were second-tier systems headed to the junkyard or the international arms market before being rerouted, writes Stravros Atlamazoglou of 1945. He continues (abridged):
Since the war started, the U.S. has sent or committed to sending more than $21 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, while the total sum of financial, military, and humanitarian aid is close to $50 billion.
In almost 30 military assistance packages, the U.S. military has sent or committed to sending a variety of weapon systems, including more than 54,000 anti-tank missiles and munitions (with over 8,500 FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles in there), 45 T-72B tanks, 20 Mi-17 helicopters, 38 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 178 155mm and 105mm howitzers with almost 1.2 million rounds, more than 2,200 tactical vehicles, and armored personnel carriers, among other weapon systems.
Almost every country—including the U.S.—is sending Ukraine second-tier weapon systems that were heading to the junkyard or the international arms market anyway. However, that has been enough for the Ukrainian military to stop the bigger and technologically superior Russian forces.
Of course, the material factor alone hasn’t stopped the Russian military. The fierce determination, moral courage, and bravery of the Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have been key in the country’s success against a superior and larger military force.
The U.S. has been the single-most important supporter of Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invaders.
To be sure, other countries, notably Poland, Estonia, the Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom, have been providing great assistance, but Kyiv wouldn’t have been able to turn the tides of the war and liberate so much territory weren’t for the support of Washington.
And the U.S. military support of Ukraine makes sense financially. For approximately 5 percent of its annual defense budget, the U.S. has sent Ukraine weapon systems that have destroyed around 50 percent of the pre-war Russian military.
According to the Oryx open-source intelligence website, the Ukrainian forces have captured, damaged, or destroyed more than 8,500 weapon systems, including 1,600 tanks, 750 armored fighting vehicles, 1,800 infantry fighting vehicles, and 600 artillery pieces, among other weapon systems. Oryx reports only weapon systems that could be independently and visually verified.
So, the actual Russian numbers are likely higher.
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