Why Ukraine aid figures should be taken with a grain of salt

And $1 billion to boot

Why Ukraine aid figures should be taken with a grain of salt

And $1 billion to boot. Visiting Kiev, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced additional aid on Wednesday, bringing the amount of US aid to Ukraine since the start of the Russian offensive to $43 billion in February 2022. Which makes the Americans the leading supplier of military equipment to Ukraine: Patriot ground-air system, artillery and even armored vehicles and soon depleted uranium munitions. Abrams tanks will soon be delivered. With each announcement of military or humanitarian aid to Ukraine, the figures, in millions or billions of euros, accompany the list of equipment promised to kyiv.

Since the start of the conflict, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy has quantified the aid provided by each country to Ukraine. Their charts clearly show that the United States is the leading military supporter of Ukraine, far ahead of Germany and Britain.

Aid to Ukraine can also be measured in terms of the country's GDP (gross domestic product). According to the institute's calculations, Norway tops the list, with 1.7% of its GDP devoted to aid to Ukraine. The United States is 30th, with 0.3% of GDP.

France's support for Ukraine remains limited. With officially about 1.5 billion euros that have been promised to kyiv, France is 15th. This amount represents 0.05% of tricolor GDP.

Some countries are more transparent than others about the supply of equipment to Ukraine. With each new announcement, the United States publishes a detailed list of the equipment delivered, while France is less precise.

These figures only take into account public and official aid, not private donations. A recent example: the French company Delair delivered 150 drones to the Ukrainian army in recent days. The institute does not take into account other forms of assistance such as the reception of refugees, intelligence or the training of Ukrainian soldiers, several thousand of whom have been trained by the West in recent months.

The prestigious Kiel Institute for the World Economy has been maintaining delivery accounts for 18 months and detailing their working methods. “In-kind assistance is estimated from market prices. In case of doubt, the highest available value is used,” explains the German university.

It must also be taken into account that not all of the promised equipment has necessarily been delivered. “Only a little more than half of the promised heavy weapons have been delivered” as pointed out in a report published this summer by the German institute. And on this point a real disparity exists. “The United States, Germany and Britain have rapidly increased their commitments but deliveries are significantly lower. In contrast, Eastern European countries delivered more than 80 percent of promised heavy weapons. »