Foreign Policy Elites
Yearn for Afghan-style Insurgency
Alex Rubinstein / The Grayzone
Corporate US media and foreign policy hardliners want to create a new Afghanistan in the middle of Europe by flooding Ukraine with weapons. The arms industry is very pleased.
(March 20, 2022) — Following urgent requests for arms from the Ukrainian government, at least 32 countries have announced their intention to ship billions of dollars in weapons into Ukraine for use against Russian forces in Ukraine. Photographic evidence shows that these weapons have already ended up in the hands of neo-Nazi paramilitaries — units which have already received training and arms [from] the US and its NATO allies.
Underscoring the careless nature of the unprecedented arms shipments, the formerly neutral country of Norway has warned that its government cannot “guarantee that the weapons [it is sending to Ukraine] will not fall into the wrong hands.”
As corporate media and Reddit forums spin out a rose-colored view of the Ukrainian military’s performance, some 20,000 foreign fighters from 52 countries have signed up to join the newly-formed “International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.” Many are now fleeing back across the Polish border, filled with fear in the face of heavy casualties.
All of this builds on $3.8 billion in military aid from the United States to Ukraine, the training of 55,000 Ukrainian soldiers by Canada and the United Kingdom, and a longstanding CIA program aimed at cultivating an anti-Russian insurgency.
As Western officials clamor for a long and bloody war against Russia while shirking efforts at negotiation, progressive anti-war voices in Congress like Rep. Ro Khanna, who once railed against the US sponsorship of neo-Nazism in Ukraine, are now cheerleading massive arms transfers to Kiev.
During his widely broadcast, carefully scripted speech to Congress on March 16, Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky’s thanked the United States for its “overwhelming support” in terms of “weapons and ammunition, for training, for finances.”
He went on to beseech Congress for a no-fly zone, which even top White House officials have acknowledged as a call for conventional war against Russia.
While a no-fly zone remains off the table for the time being, NATO leaders are hoping for an extended war of attrition, consequences be damned. And arms dealers are having a field day, with stocks in top defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman surged by 20% during the first week of the conflict.
As former special advisor to the Secretary of Defense Col. Douglas Macgregor told The Grayzone, “it looks more and more as though Ukrainians are almost incidental to the operation in the sense that they are there to impale themselves on the Russian army and die in great numbers, because the real goal of this entire thing is the destruction of the Russian state and Vladimir Putin.”
Priming the Public for Endless War,
Lobbying for an Insurgency
David Ignatius, the Washington Post columnist and reliable voice of the US intelligence apparatus, noted that even prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, “the United States and NATO allies [were] ready to provide weapons and training for a long battle of resistance.”
This March, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haas commented, “I think what you’re hearing from all of us — and it’s a real mindset change — we’re talking about potentially a long war… Think about this less as a classic war. Afghanistan went on [for] two decades… this could be another frozen struggle, and it could wax and wane, but this could be part of the new normal.”
The Afghan option has been advocated for Ukraine by some of the most prominent figures among the US foreign policy establishment, and particularly those on the Democratic side of the aisle.
“It didn’t end well for the Russians…but the fact is, that a very motivated, and then funded, and armed insurgency basically drove the Russians out of Afghanistan. I think that is the model that people are now looking toward,” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared during a February 28 interview with MSNBC.
Clinton waxed nostalgic over the campaign to arm and train the Afghan mujahideen in a bid to suck the Soviet Union into a “Vietnamese quagmire.” If Western government can “keep the Ukrainian, both their military and their citizen volunteer soldiers supplied, that can continue to stymie Russia,” she added.
Next, Clinton pointed to the dirty war in Syria, where the CIA’s Timber Sycamore program funneled weapons to the so-called “moderate rebels” of the Free Syrian Army, creating what mainstream US analyst Sam Heller called “weapons farms for larger Islamist and jihadist factions, including Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate.”
“It took years to finally defeat Syria in terms of the insurgencies, the democratic forces as well as others who battled the Russians, the Syrians, and the Iranians,” Clinton said.
As a no-longer official voice of the Democratic foreign policy establishment, Hillary Clinton is able to speak with more candor than the current US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on the objectives of the liberal interventionist clique to which they both belong.
When Hillary Clinton resurfaced on MSNBC on March 8 for an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brezinski — daughter of Zbigniew, the architect of the program to arm the Afghan mujahedin — Clinton was more explicit than before about her desire for the Afghan option.
“Lethal defensive weapons are making their way into Ukraine. They need more. I want to see them get more. I’ve urged publicly and privately that they get more,” the former Secretary of State said. “There is a concerted effort by governments, particularly NATO governments, both to provide weapons and aid.”
“This is not going to end quickly,” Clinton concluded, “it’s going to drag on.”
In a joint press conference with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Blinken insisted that should Russian President Vladimir Putin try to “enforce such a puppet regime by keeping Russian forces in Ukraine, it will be a long, bloody, drawn-out mess through which Russia will continue to suffer grievously.”
In one media appearance after another, the Secretary of State has alluded to the possibility of a forever war in Ukraine. “I think we have to be prepared, unfortunately, tragically, for this to go on for some time,” he told Face The Nation.
Biden too has hinted at efforts to stoke a long-term insurgency in the country, vowing that Russia “will pay a continuing high price over the long run,” though “it’s going to take time.”
Unlike the proxy wars in Syria and Afghanistan, where Western-backed jihadist foreign fighters took up their crusade in hopes of establishing a medieval Islamic caliphate, the champions of the “holy war” in Ukraine look to the country’s more recent history of Nazism as their call to arms.
Months before Russia launched its operation inside Ukaine, the CIA launched a program to train Ukrainian fighters for an insurgency. Meanwhile, weapons furnished by NATO allies have been placed in the hands of the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi former paramilitary organization incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard.
The US is arming and assisting Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.
NATO and the CIA Fashion a
Fighting Force with Fascist Auxiliaries
The governments of Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom have presided over a massive program to train and equip Ukrainian soldiers for a full-scale war with Russia. Trainees have included top commanders of the Azov Battalion.
Canada’s Department of National Defense noted this January 26 that the Canadian Armed Forces have trained “nearly 33,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel in a range of tactical and advanced military skills.”
“Canada is playing a leading role in our response,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the Ottawa Conference on Security and Defense on March 9, “including with training for tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops — many of whom are on the front lines today.”
The United Kingdom, via Operation Orbital, has trained 22,000 Ukrainian fighters and sent more trainers to the country in early March.
The United States has also openly trained Ukrainian forces, including members of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, like Sgt. Ivan Kharkiv, who reflected fondly on “his battalion’s experience with US trainers and US volunteers quite fondly, even mentioning US volunteers engineers and medics that are still currently assisting them.”
“Our vetting screens for human rights violations, not for ideology,” a US embassy representative in Ukraine told the Daily Beast. “The battalions that are in question have been integrated as part of Ukraine’s National Guard, and so the idea is that they would be eligible for training.”
As The Grayzone has reported, a photo posted on the Azov Battalion’s website in November 2017 shows a US military officer meeting with an officer from the neo-Nazi battalion. A year before the exchange, the US embassy in Kiev helped coordinate the transfer of rocket-propelled grenade launchers to the Ukrainian military in 2016, a portion of which were immediately sent to Azov.
“An American military inspection team visited the Azov Battalion on the front lines of the Ukrainian civil war to discuss logistics and deepening cooperation,” The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal wrote in 2018. “Images of the encounter showed American army officers poring over maps with their Ukrainian counterparts, palling around and ignoring the Nazi-inspired Wolfangel patches emblazoned on their sleeves.”
Meanwhile, a lesser-known neo-Nazi order of Ukrainian military officers called Centuria has bragged that its members have “participated in military exercises with France, the UK, Canada, the US, Germany, and Poland,” according to a study published by the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University.
According to the study, the Ukrainian government and Western militaries including the US, UK, Canada, Germany do not screen Ukrainian trainees for extremism.
One figure linked to the Centuria organization posed from the US-Canada training facility in the West of Ukraine with two black US service members, geotagging himself in “Zimbabwe” and writing “14/88” — neo-Nazi code for “Heil Hitler” and a reference to the white supremacist “14 words” slogan.
While the US and other militaries have openly trained Ukrainian forces, support from the CIA was secret until a January 13 report by Yahoo News based on disclosures by six former CIA officials.
Dorfman revealed that fighters were being flown into an “undisclosed facility in the Southern US” to undergo training by the CIA. The program has also included members of the CIA “traveling to the front in eastern Ukraine to advise their counterparts there.”
According to the Yahoo News report, the CIA has trained fighters over the course of multiple weeks in “camouflage techniques, land navigation, tactics like ‘cover and move,’ intelligence and other areas.”
One former CIA official who spoke with the outlet said that “The United States is training an insurgency” to “kill Russians.”
A former executive of the agency told the outlet that the program has helped train Ukrainian fighters in “potential critical nodes the Russians may focus on” in the event of a Russian invasion.
These “critical nodes” likely refer to frontline cities like Mariupol and Kharkiv where the Azov Battalion maintains its strongest presence.
“If the Russians invade, those [CIA-trained fighters] are going to be your militia, your insurgent leaders,” a former senior intelligence official said. “We’ve been training these guys now for eight years. They’re really good fighters. That’s where the agency’s program could have a serious impact.”
“All that stuff that happened to us in Afghanistan … they can expect to see that in spades with these guys,” a former CIA official told the outlet.
Foreign Fighters Flock to Ukraine,
Only to Retreat in Full Panic
It’s not just Ukrainian soldiers that are fighting Russia. Since Zelensky’s appeal for foreign fighters in late February, thousands have reportedly signed up to be shipped off for war with Russia.
“Every friend of Ukraine who wants to join Ukraine in defending the country please come over, we will give you weapons,” Zelensky pleaded.
Less than a week later, on March 3, Zelensky said that “Ukraine is already greeting foreign volunteers. (The) first 16,000 are already on their way.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuelba said that 20,000 people from 52 countries have volunteered to fight on March 6.
To aid this campaign Ukraine created a new battalion called the “International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine” and set up a website called “Fight for Ukraine” to attract foreign soldiers, listing contacts in 68 countries for would-be fighters to reach out to. A button at the bottom right of the homepage urges visitors to “donate to the Ukrainian army,” promising that “all proceeds received go directly to supporting the front-line defense of Ukraine.”
Foreign fighters are being processed in the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv where one Finnish volunteer has claimed that he “just want[s] to kill Russians.”
Veterans from Western countries bored of the mundanities of civilian life are flocking over. As one former Canadian veteran billed as “one of the world’s deadliest snipers” put it, “a week ago I was still programming stuff. Now I’m grabbing anti-tank missiles in a warehouse to kill people.”
According to a Ukrainian recruiter in London, 6,000 people from the United Kingdom, about half of which are veterans, have signed up to go fight. Across the pond, a Ukrainian Embassy representative in Washington told the US-government funded Voice of America that about 3,000 people in the United States have “responded” to Zelensky’s appeal for foreign fighters.
Zelensky’s call to arms has even spread to Latin America. In Colombia, the death squad capital of the world, where hundreds of social movement leaders were killed by paramilitaries in the past two years, 50 former soldiers have reportedly begun the process of joining the Ukraine Territorial Defense Legion. Colombia is an official NATO partner.
While many veterans have flocked over to Ukraine to escape post-service ennui they are now finding themselves confronted by a far more existential mental malady: dread in the face of the enemy’s total air dominance for the first time of their military careers.
On March 13, Russia pummeled a base hosting the foreign legion with 30 cruise missiles, killing 35 foreign volunteer fighters according to Western sources and 180 according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.
The base, known as the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, has hosted both Canada’s Operation UNIFIER and the US-led Joint Multinational Training Group. It has been previously described as the “main hub for training Ukrainian troops, a process in which the US, Canada, and others play a prominent role.”
“Up to 180 foreign mercenaries and a large quantity of foreign weapons were destroyed,” according to Russian defense spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
“Americans, British, tons of British dead. They’re not saying nothing, they’re counting our dead as their dead,” said one American volunteer Henry Hoeft in a video posted online. “They’re trying to send us to Kiev with no fucking weapons, no kit, no plates. The people who are lucky enough to get weapons are only getting magazines with like 10 fucking rounds.”
Hoeft, who fled the country, said that when they refused to be shipped off to Kiev, they were threatened: either leave or get shot.
“People need to stop coming here. It’s a trap and they’re not letting you leave,” he said.
On Reddit, a social media platform favored by many foreign fighters, one US volunteer described a harrowing experience as he awaited transport back over the Polish border.
“The cannon fodder term is what was coming out of a lot of volunteers’ mouths,” wrote one apparent foreign volunteer, “the reality of basically being bodies in front of the advancing Russians.”
“I had been mortared before and thought that was pretty gnarly… but being absolutely defenseless and in the open with three aircraft just shitting all over you with such heavy ordinance was a whole new level of helplessness,” the Redditor said.
In a separate incident, Jason Haigh, a volunteer from the United Kingdom who served in two tours in Iraq, fled Ukraine after about one month, telling The Sun that “Iraq and Afghanistan was totally different. The Russians are a conventional modern army.”
Meanwhile, the Canadian veteran marketed by UK tabloid media as one of the “world’s deadliest snipers” was killed during his first day in the field.
Donations of Death
Within less than a week since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States and NATO have rushed 17,000 anti-tank weapons into the country in the course. A whopping 70 percent of the $350 million in lethal aid approved by the Biden Administration on February 26 was delivered in just five days.
The Wall Street Journal has described the response as “one of the largest and fastest arms transfers in history,” and “a supply operation with few historical parallels.”
So who is receiving those weapons, and what will they do with them if the conflict continues indefinitely? That question is clearly not on the minds of NATO officials hungry for escalation.
In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, the verified Twitter account for NATO celebrated the “remarkable women of Ukraine” in a now-deleted tweet with a photo of a woman dressed head-to-toe in military gear with a patch of the Nazi “Black Sun” symbol displayed prominently on her uniform.
That same day, photographs appeared showing the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion receiving a shipment of Western instructors and NLAW grenade launchers from “NATO countries.” The National Corps, the political wing of the Azov Battalion, has also posted photos of NLAWs its members received, explaining that they were “mastering” them. “We will send Rusny to hell,” they declared.
Members of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector have also appeared in the field with UK-made NLAW launchers, as seen below.
UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told the House of Commons on March 9 that “as of today, we have delivered 3,615 NLAWs [to Ukrainian forces] and continue to deliver more. We will shortly be starting the delivery of a small consignment of anti-tank Javelin missiles as well.”
The NATO country of Luxembourg has also delivered 100 NLAW systems to Ukraine’s military in recent weeks.
In late February, the European Union opened the floodgates of weapon shipments to Ukraine, approving financing through the aptly-named “European Peace Facility” to reimburse countries sending weapons to the country to the tune of $500 million USD. Another $55 million USD is earmarked for non-lethal military aid.
At least 32 countries, many of which belong to NATO and the European Union, are involved in flooding Ukraine with lethal and non-lethal military aid.
This February, the State Department announced $350 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, bringing “the total security assistance the United States has committed to Ukraine over the past year to more than $1 billion.”
Another $200 million was sent in early March, and following Zelensky’s March 16 appeal to Congress for more weapons, Biden is reportedly set to dole out another $800 in military aid including 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 9,000 anti-tank systems, 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, 400 shotguns, 400 grenade launchers, 20 million rounds of ammunition, 100 tactical drones, 25,000 sets of body armor and 25,000 helmets. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
These figures add to the $2.5 billion in military aid the US delivered between 2014 and the summer of 2021, bringing the total to $3.8 billion.
“On NATO Territory, We Should Be the Pakistan”
Pressed by a reporter about whether the US was pushing Ukraine “to commit suicide” by arming it against a vastly more advanced military force whose ultimate victory is inevitable, White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to push back on the argument that Kiev’s defeat is only a matter of time.
“We have provided military assistance, humanitarian assistance, to the Ukrainians, enabling them to fight back for far longer than the Russian leadership anticipated,” Psaki responded.
Taking the lead in the international campaign to arm Ukraine, the US and UK have reportedly set up a so-called “International Donors Coordination Center.” Shipments are being stockpiled in Poland, a NATO ally that shares a border with Ukraine.
Douglas Lute, a former US Ambassador to NATO and retired US Army Lieutenant General, alluded to the parallels between Operation Cyclone, which saw the CIA and Pakistani intelligence training the Afghan Mujahideen often inside Pakistani territory, stating “On NATO territory, we should be the Pakistan.”
Indeed, Poland has been repeatedly described as the “linchpin” of the West’s war efforts. One Polish airport 60 miles from the Ukrainian border was “so crowded with military cargo jets that… some flights were briefly diverted until airfield space became available.”
While much of the arm-and-equip effort has been conducted openly, the Wall Street Journal reported that “the operation to supply Ukraine in many countries has been shrouded in secrecy.” Some analysts suggest that “most countries” participating in the arming campaign “prefer not to share details.”
While the arms continue to flow unabated, a “senior Ukrainian military official” told the outlet that “there were now no major equipment shortages among his troops.” Despite this, Zelensky continues to claim that the aid is “insufficient.”
And while the prospect of an Afghan-style insurgency dims in Ukraine, with Russian forces seizing strategic cities and severing supply lines to their adversaries, the arms manufactures that fund think tanks and politicians from Washington to London are making the most of the opportunity.
“We’re going to have to backfill some of [the arms shipments to Ukraine] ourselves,” an arms industry lobbyist told The Hill on March 15, “so that will force the Pentagon to buy more from some of the defense companies.
NATO States Pour Weapons into Ukraine
To Ratchet Up the Violence
At least 32 countries have sent direct military aid to Ukraine this year, including:
Australia: On March 1, a joint statement between Australia’s Prime Minister and Minister of Defense stated the country would “provide around $50 million USD in lethal military assistance” to Ukraine including missiles and ammunition.
Austria has committed to sending more than $19 million USD in non-lethal aid to Ukraine including helmets, body armor and 100,000 liters of fuel.
Belgium is sending 3,000 machine guns and 200 anti-tank weapons as well as 3,800 tonnes of fuel.
Canada: A February 4 press release announcing a shipment of “body armor and load carriage kits, binoculars, laser rangefinders, metal detectors, and spotting scopes” from the Department of National Defense noted that “Canada has provided $23 million dollars in non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine” since 2015.
On February 27, Canada more than doubled its historical total, announcing $25 million in non-lethal military gear to be sent to Ukraine. Defense Minister Anita Anand said they would also ship 100 Carl-Gustaf anti-tank weapons systems, 2,000 rockets, 4,500 M72 rocket launchers, 7,500 hand grenades, sniper rifles, carbines, pistols, and 1.5 million rounds of ammunition.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has committed more than $18 million USD in “infantry weapons and protective equipment.”
The Czech Republic vowed to send 4,000 artillery shells valued at around $1.6 million USD in January. The following month, the government announced an additional $8.1 million USD in lethal aid, including 30,150 pistols, 5,000 assault rifles, 2,085 submachine guns, 3,200 machine guns, 31 sniper rifles and millions of cartridges.
One day after this announcement, the Czech Republic reportedly approved an additional shipment worth $18.2 million USD but declined to detail its contents due to “security concerns.” However, Czech media have reported that this package would include 10 anti-aircraft launchers with 160 missiles. The Wall Street Journal additionally reports that the Czech Republic has sent 10,000 rocket-propelled grenades.
Denmark is sending 2,000 armored vests to Ukraine. Initially opposed to sending weapons, Denmark has committed to donating 2,700 anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and sending 300 decommissioned FIM-92 Stinger to the US so that they can be made operational again and sent to Ukraine.
Estonia sent a batch of Javelin missile systems in mid-February and an additional package of “personal equipment, ammunition, additional javelin missiles and anti-aircraft munitions” later in the month.
Finland reversed its longstanding neutrality and gave the “green light to Estonia to send previously Finnish-owned field guns to Ukraine” and announced they would send 2,000 bulletproof vests and 2,000 helmets, Reuters reported. Additionally the country will provide 2,500 assault rifles, 150,000 bullets and 1,500 anti-tank weapons.
France has acknowledged that it is providing Ukraine with military assistance, France has refused to specify in what form so as to avoid “provoking” Russia, a departure from its NATO allies.
Germany: Reversing the country’s post-WWII policy of banning German-made weapons being sent to conflict zones, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced he’d send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger missiles to Ukraine. Berlin later approved the shipment of 2,700 shoulder-fired Strela missiles.
Greece has committed to sending two plane loads of weapons to Ukraine filled with rocket launchers, ammunition and Kalashnikovs.
Iceland: With no military, Iceland has sought to fill gaps in the international effort to arm Ukraine, providing cargo flights to send equipment from other countries in.
Ireland has agreed to provide body armor and fuel.
Italy initially sent $120 million USD to Ukraine and approved additional “non-lethal” aid like demining equipment. Later, the country sent $109 million USD to $164 million USD in the form of “mortars, Stinger launchers, Browning heavy machine guns, browning rounds, light machine guns, anti-tank launchers, anti-tank shots, K-rations, radios, helmets and vests.”
Japan has agreed to send “bulletproof vests and other defense supplies” likes military tents and helmets.
Latvia has sent Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems, 30 truckloads of helmets, medical supplies, dry food and ammunition, and 90 unmanned aircrafts.
Lithuania has also sent stingers and ammunition and said it will send “body armor vests, helmets,” and Kalashnikovs.
Luxembourg sent 100 NLAW anti-tank weapons, jeeps, and military tents.
The Netherlands sent 3,000 helmets, 2,000 pieces of body armor, 30 metal detectors, two mine surveillance radars and five weapon location radars, 100 sniper rifles and 30,000 rounds of sniper ammunition all worth $8.12 million USD. Later, the country sent $21.7 million USD of lethal supplies including 50 Stinger systems and 200 missiles, 40 Panzefraust anti-tank weapons and 400 missiles, 171 helmets, 85 vests and 1,250 armor plates.
North Macedonia has announced that they will send unspecified military equipment to Ukraine.
Norway has sent 1,500 bullet proof vests, 500 helmets and other non-lethal supplies. Like Germany, Norway later decided to reverse its ban on weapons exports to warzones, announcing the donation of 2,000 M72 anti-tank weapons. Defense Minister Odd Roger Enoksen said he cannot “guarantee that the weapons will not fall into the wrong hands.”
Poland has sent ammunition, javelin systems, unmanned surveillance drones,100 60mm LMP-2017 mortars with 1,500 rounds, Piorun portable anti-aircraft missile systems, unmanned reconnaissance systems, 30,000 pieces of ammunition for ZU-23-2 cannons, Javelins, 10,000 GROT automatic rifles, 42,000 helmets, and more.
Portugal has sent “vests, helmets, night vision goggles, grenades and ammunition of different gauges, complete portable radios, analog repeaters and automatic G3 rifles.”
Romani approved a shipment of $3.3 million USD worth of “fuel, ammunition, bullet-proof vests, helmets” and other “military equipment.”
Slovakia has sent $12.3 million worth of ammunition and fuel including, “12,000 rounds of 120-milimetre caliber ammunition, 10 million litres of diesel fuel and 2.4 million litres of aircraft fuel.” An additional shipment of nearly $5 million USD was approved and included “486 air-defense missiles and anti-tank rockets, 100 air-defense launchers, 120mm artillery ammunition and fuel.”
Slovenia has sent helmets, ammunition and Kalashnikov rifles on “several” planes.
South Korea will send unspecified “military equipment” and uniforms.”
Spain’s Defense Minister Margarita Robles said the country would send “1,370 anti-tank grenade launchers, 700,000 rifle and machine-gun rounds, and light machine guns.”
Sweden, a once-neutral country, approved “5,000 helmets, 5,000 body shields and 5,000 anti-tank weapons” and more to be sent to Ukraine, as well as $52.9 million in direct financial assistance to the Ukrainian army. The total contribution is valued at $148.4 million USD.
United Kingdom: In addition to the 3,615 NLAWs, the UK government authorized a loan worth $2.25 billion USD to the Ukrainian government for the acquisition of two minesweepers, eight missile boats and a frigate. Additional weapons are being sent but have not been detailed as they are “operationally sensitive.” The UK is also sending “body armour, helmets and combat boots.”
United States: On February 26, the State Department announced $350 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, bringing “the total security assistance the United States has committed to Ukraine over the past year to more than $1 billion.” The shipment reportedly included Javelins and Stingers. Days later, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken assured his Ukrainian counterpart of more weapon shipments down the line.
Biden is reportedly set to advance another $800 million in military aid to Ukraine after Zelensky’s address to Congress. This package will include 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 9,000 anti-tank systems, 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, 400 shotguns, 400 grenade launchers, 20 million rounds of ammunition, 100 tactical drones, 25,000 sets of body armor and 25,000 helmets.
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