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Russia-Ukraine War in 2024 - Implications for Delayed Military Aid

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has been going on for almost two years since Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine. The war in Ukraine has drawn support from Western countries that supply essential military aid. However, in the current period, lawmakers in the United States (U.S.) and Europe have failed to secure domestic support for military aid packages.


An illustration on the Russia Ukraine War in 2024

Illustration by The Geostrata


The article intends to explore Western countries' military aid patterns and the implications of short-term interruption. 

 

MILITARY AID FROM THE US 

 

The current U.S. administration, led by the incumbent President Joe Biden, has sent over $75 billion to assist Ukraine. The combined aid package involves humanitarian, financial, and military support. As per the study conducted by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German research institute, a large portion of aid has been directed towards the Ukrainian military.


The U.S. has sent more than $43 billion in security assistance to the Ukrainian government. Aid and assistance have been directed for security purposes on most occasions.

In this case, aid from the U.S. has been sent through presidential drawdowns. The presidential drawdowns have been directed to the U.S. Defence Department to ensure the delivery of services and defence equipment to Ukraine. As of September 21, 2023, the current Biden administration has signed 47 drawdowns in total for the defence of Ukraine.


However, the presidential drawdowns are only one of the assistance methods undertaken by the U.S. The involvement of other departments is also noteworthy. The Department of Defence in the U.S., through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), has focused on increasing Ukraine's defence through military training, transferring military equipment, and facilitating support in critical intelligence. 


The USAI of the Department of Defence has allocated approximately U.S.$18 billion for Ukraine between the 2022–2023 federal fiscal years. 

 

MILITARY AID FROM NATO

 

The security assistance provided by NATO to Ukraine dates back to February 2022. In this case, the NATO member countries continued to extend military assistance to Ukraine. The military assistance included shoulder-fired air defence systems, armoured personnel carriers, long-range cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, and cluster ammunition.


The NATO member countries have sent military aid worth EUR 500 million. However, military aid in terms of arms transfers has seen change. The arms transfer from NATO currently involves cold-weather clothing, body armour, transport vehicles, combat rations, body armour, and essential medical supplies.

NATO has not transferred weapons to Ukraine as a group, but several individual member states have done the same. The decision to assist Ukraine through defence packages was made at the Heads of State and Government Summit, where the NATO allies agreed to provide sustained long-term support. The Vilnius Summit in July 2023 reiterates the sentiments for sustained support for a multi-year defence assistance programme.


Similar sentiments were also reflected in the Secretary General of NATO's speech at a press conference in June 2022, stating the non-lethal transfer of military equipment. Kyiv also attracted aid from the former Soviet states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, contributing 1.1%, 1%, and 1.3% to humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The exchange of military aid has also evolved with the continued conflict in Ukraine. In the initial period, the NATO allies sent only defensive weapon systems.


However, in most cases, NATO has concentrated on sending offensive weapons systems and heavy weapons like howitzers, rocket launchers, and missile defence systems to Ukraine with the long-stretched conflict. 

 

MILITARY AID FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU)

 

Military assistance from the EU has seen constant growth. The military aid worth U.S. $30 billion involved the exchange of ammunition for defence systems like fighter jets and Leopard tanks.


In terms of ammunition support, the EU has supported joint procurement and delivery worth U.S. $2.2 billion to Ukraine to facilitate ammunition production. The EU will have trained 40,000 military personnel by the end of 2023 under the U.S. $300 million allotted by the Military Assistance Mission.

In recent years, military assistance from the EU to Ukraine has slowly evolved from arms transfer to training missions. The EU is considered one of the top training providers for Ukraine's armed forces. In the EU's Foreign Affairs Council, the member states have launched the Military Assistance Mission to support the armed forces in Ukraine. This also involves providing training and facilitating the presence of Ukrainian soldiers on the territory of EU member countries. 

 

IMPLICATIONS FROM THE INTERRUPTIONS IN MILITARY AID

 

The failure of the European governments and the U.S. to provide military support questions its reliability and poses widespread implications for Ukraine's war effort. In this case, even a short-term gap in military aid will result in tilting the war in favour of Moscow. The short-term gaps in providing military aid are already visible. In recent periods, Ukraine's arsenal has depleted at a fast pace.


The depletion will result in detrimental consequences for conducting long-term operations. Recently, Ukraine has been running low in terms of ammunition to protect its key cities.

As per the latest report by Bloomberg, the European allies have provided only 600,000 rounds of ammunition. This will not only result in the depletion of ammunition but also cause delays in production and depleted stocks, posing a detrimental effect on vital resources. The implications of the interrupted military aid from Ukraine's allies will result in an interruption with critical components involving gunpowder. The transfer of gunpowder is essential for adequately functioning hand-held ammunition systems and explosives.


Ukraine needs to possess a substantial gunpowder production industry to facilitate its use. This has made it depend on its allies for support. In terms of standard barrels, Ukraine still needs a system for producing barrels to support howitzers from the U.S. and can produce only NATO-standard barrels

 

The implications will result in a need for more ammunition on the front lines. The Ukrainian forces are likely to encounter heavy damage and casualties due to a lack of ammunition due to Russia's combined offensive from land and air.

A fall in essential supplies has made the frontline units introduce ammunition rationing on the battlefield. The shortage also extends to Ukraine's air defence systems in cities that need ammunition to prevent Russian missiles and drones from reaching Ukraine. In this case, the production of cheaper drones will replace the current shortages of ammunition on the battlefield and help defend Ukraine against Russia, which is not only big in size but also has the capacity for sustained defence production. 

 

CONCLUSION

 

In conclusion, the interruption will not only question the credibility of Western military aid to Europe but will also turn the war's outcome in Russia's favour. Therefore, Ukraine needs to invest in bolstering its domestic industrial capacity, focusing on essential military equipment like drones, ammunition, and barrels to prevent stock depletion.


 

BY ANIRBAN DUTTA

TEAM GEOSTRATA

5 comentarios


Aakshi
Aakshi
06 abr

Very well written!

Me gusta

Great piece , well written!

Me gusta

Adhitya B
Adhitya B
05 abr

Very well analysed!

Me gusta

Great Insights.

Me gusta

Military Aid has played a major role in shaping the Russia Ukraine Conflict

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