Breaking down the billions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Ukraine

Even before the $20 billion military aid package, which passed the Senate Thursday, the United States was already the largest donor of military aid to Ukraine as it defends itself against a Russian invasion.

The latest package, part of a nearly $40 billion aid bill, goes beyond sending weapons and represents a long-term commitment to U.S. involvement in the war. The money would also go toward ramping up production of U.S. weapon stocks to replenish the significant amount of weaponry already sent to Ukraine.

Aid approved by Congress

total

$20.1B

4.4

European

Command

Operations

6

Ukraine

Security

Assistance

Initiative

Includes weapons

and training

9.05

Replenishment

of U.S. stocks

0.6

Defense

Production Act

0.05

Munitions and

Exportability funds

Source: foreignassistance.gov

Aid approved by Congress

total

$20.1B

6

Ukraine

Security

Assistance

Initiative

Includes weapons

and training

9.05

Replenishment

of U.S. stocks

4.4

European

Command

Operations

0.6

Defense

Production Act

0.05

Munitions and

Exportability funds

Source: foreignassistance.gov

Aid approved by Congress

total $20.1B

6

Ukraine Security

Assistance Initiative

Includes weapons

and training

9.05

Replenishment

of U.S. stocks

4.4

European

Command

Operations

0.6

Defense

Production Act

0.05

Munitions and

Exportability funds

Source: foreignassistance.gov

Aid approved by Congress

total $20.1B

6

Ukraine Security

Assistance Initiative

Includes weapons and training

9.05

Replenishment

of U.S. stocks

4.4

European

Command

Operations

0.6

Defense

Production Act

0.05

Munitions and

Exportability funds

Source: foreignassistance.gov

[West sees race against time in Ukraine as Russia advances]

The ramp up in military spending, as well as a recent move to send more advanced equipment, indicates a recognition that the war may drag on, experts said.

“Previously we’d been providing aid packages every week or two to stave off defeat,” said Mark Cancian, a senior adviser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “But then the realization came that this thing could go on for quite a while.”

Cancian noted that the budget approved by the House goes through the end of the fiscal year, suggesting the expectation the war could last for at least four more months.

The numbers in perspective

Every year, the United States spends billions of dollars to fund the other militaries, including Israel and Jordan. But in three months, commitments to Ukraine have eclipsed annual U.S. military assistance to its closest partners.

U.S. military aid to other countries

Israel received the most help from the United States in fiscal 2020, the last data available.

0

1

2

3

4

Israel

$3.31B

Egypt

1.3

Jordan

0.51

Ukraine

From

Feb. 24

to Apr. 19

3.9

Source: foreignassistance.gov

U.S. military aid to other countries

Israel received the most help from the United States in fiscal 2020, the last data available.

0

1

2

3

4

Israel

$3.3B

Egypt

1.3

Jordan

0.51

Ukraine

From

Feb. 24

to Apr. 19

3.9

Source: foreignassistance.gov

U.S. military aid to other countries

Israel received the most help from the United States in fiscal 2020, the last data available.

0

1

2

3

4

Israel

$3.3B

Egypt

1.3

Jordan

0.51

Ukraine

From Feb. 24

to Apr. 19

3.9

Source: foreignassistance.gov

Analysts see military aid from the West as vital to the success of Ukraine against a much larger adversary.

“If the United States and other countries had not sent lethal aid from the very beginning, Ukraine would have been overwhelmed early on, and Ukraine’s government would now be a Russian puppet,” Cancian said. “Because militaries in combat need a continuous supply of munitions and equipment to replace losses, the United States and other countries needed to continue the flow of supplies.”

The aid is equal to more than half of the Ukrainian military budget last year. By some estimates, the nearly $20 billion boost would bring the U.S. contribution to nearly a third of the annual Russian military budget, though some analysts estimate Moscow spends up to $200 billion on its military, far more than official figures.

Military

expenditure

in 2021

Ukraine

$5.5B

Russia

$63.5B

U.S. military aid

sent to Ukraine

Approved by

Congress

$20.1B

$3.9B

U.S. Military aid since

the start of the war

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Military

expenditure

in 2021

Ukraine

$5.5B

Russia

$63.5B

U.S. military aid

sent to Ukraine

Approved by

Congress

$20.1B

$3.9B

U.S. Military aid since

the start of the war

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Military

expenditure

in 2021

U.S. military

aid sent to

Ukraine

U.S. Military aid

since the start

of the war

Approved by

Congress

$20.1B

Ukraine

$5.5B

Russia

$63.5B

$3.9B

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Military

expenditure

in 2021

U.S. military

aid sent to

Ukraine

U.S. Military aid

since the start

of the war

Approved by

Congress

$20.1B

Ukraine

$5.5B

Russia

$63.5B

$3.9B

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

The evolution of the war

As the war has changed, so have the weapons provided by the United States. In the early stages, when a convoy of Russian vehicles pressed toward Kyiv, U.S. assistance included antitank weapons, most notably Javelin missiles. Those weapons lock onto a target’s thermal profile and can strike a tank head on or from top down.

[What to know about the Javelin antitank missiles in Ukraine]

Russian-held areas before and after

the push back from Kyiv

March 31

April 3

BEL.

BEL.

RUS.

RUS.

Kyiv

Kyiv

UKRAINE

UKRAINE

Sources: Institute for the Study of War,

AEI's Critical Threats Project, Post reporting

Feb. 24

April 2

Invasion

starts

Russia pushed

back from Kyiv

$1B

$800M

$800M

0.5

0

Apr.

Mar.

May.

On March 16 package, the U.S. sent Ukraine 2,000 Javelin antitank missiles.

On April 13 package, the U.S. sent Ukraine 18 Howitzers, a long range weapon.

Russian-held areas before and after

the push back from Kyiv

March 31

April 3

BEL.

BEL.

RUS.

RUS.

Kyiv

Kyiv

UKRAINE

UKRAINE

200 MILES

Sources: Institute for the Study of War,

AEI's Critical Threats Project, Post reporting

Feb. 24

April 2

Invasion

starts

Russia pushed

back from Kyiv

$1B

$800M

$800M

0.5

0

Apr.

Mar.

May.

On March 16 package, the U.S. sent Ukraine 2,000 Javelin antitank missiles.

On April 13 package, the U.S. sent Ukraine 18 howitzers, a long range weapon.

Russian-held areas before and after

the push back from Kyiv

March 31

April 3

BELARUS

BELARUS

RUSSIA

RUSSIA

Chernihiv

Chernihiv

POL.

POL.

Kyiv

Kyiv

Kharkiv

Kharkiv

Lviv

Lviv

UKRAINE

UKRAINE

Mariupol

Mariupol

ROMANIA

ROMANIA

Odessa

Odessa

CRIMEA

CRIMEA

200 MILES

200 MILES

Sources: Institute for the Study of War, AEI's Critical Threats Project, Post reporting

What the United States

sent to Ukraine

Feb. 24

April 2

Invasion

starts

Russia pushed

back from Kyiv

$1,000M

$800M

$800M

500

0

Feb.

Apr.

Mar.

May.

On March 16 package, the U.S. sent Ukraine 2,000 Javelin antitank missiles.

On April 13 package, the U.S. sent Ukraine 18 howitzers, long range weapons.

After logistical and military failures dashed Moscow’s plans to seize the Ukrainian capital, Russia shifted its focus eastward, and the United States began to send long-range artillery suited for open-terrain battles. The howitzers supplied by the United States are heavy cannons that fire artillery rounds as far as 24 miles.

[Western artillery surging into Ukraine will reshape war with Russia]

More could have been done faster, said Bradley Bowman, senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “The main evolution I’ve seen is kind of an excessive hesitancy and belatedness to assistance before the invasion to really an agility and creativity afterwards.”

Cancian noted that while early shipments of weapons included Javelins, which require at most two people to operate, newer shipments included dozens of howitzers, which demand at least five people. howitzer training for Ukrainian troops began last month.

“There was a recognition, I think, that time was available,” he said.

Before and now:

How the main weapons the U.S. is sending are operated

The shoulder-mounted Javelin antitank missile system can be operated by a crew of two or even a single soldier and is capable of disabling an armored vehicle from up to 2½ miles.

The M777 and M198 missile systems the U.S. is sending weigh 7,500 lb and 15,772 lb and need five to nine soldiers to be operated. They can reach as far as 24.9 miles and 14 miles. The United States has sent almost 200 howitzers since April 13.

Sources: Federation of American Scientists;

U.S. Department of Defense; GlobalSecurity.org

Before and now:

How the main weapons the U.S. is sending are operated

The shoulder-mounted Javelin antitank missile system can be operated by a crew of two or even a single soldier and is capable of disabling an armored vehicle from up to 2½ miles.

The M777 and M198 missile systems the U.S. is sending weigh 7,500 lb and 15,772 lb and need five to nine soldiers to be operated. They can reach as far as 24.9 miles and 14 miles. The United States has sent almost 200 howitzers since April 13.

Sources: Federation of American Scientists;

U.S. Department of Defense; GlobalSecurity.org

Before and now:

How the main weapons the U.S. is sending are operated

The shoulder-mounted Javelin antitank missile system can be operated by a crew of two or even a single soldier and is capable of disabling an armored vehicle from up to 2½ miles.

The M777 and M198 missile systems the U.S. is sending weigh 7,500 lb and 15,772 lb and need five to nine soldiers to be operated. They can reach as far as 24.9 miles and 14 miles. The United States has sent almost 200 howitzers since April 13.

Sources: Federation of American Scientists;

U.S. Department of Defense; GlobalSecurity.org

Before and now:

How the main weapons the U.S. is sending are operated

The M777 and M198 missile systems the U.S. is sending weigh 7,500 lb and 15,772 lb and need five to nine soldiers to be operated. They can reach as far as 24.9 miles and 14 miles. The United States has sent almost 200 howitzers since April 13.

The shoulder-mounted Javelin antitank missile system can be operated by a crew of two or even a single soldier and is capable of disabling an armored vehicle from up to 2½ miles.

Sources: Federation of American Scientists;

U.S. Department of Defense; GlobalSecurity.org

As Western arms continue to flow into Ukraine, Russian ally Belarus is also ramping up its involvement in the war. The Belarusian chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Viktor Gulevich, said Tuesday the military would send special forces to its border with Ukraine because “the United States and its allies continue to increase their military presence at the state borders.”

Alex Horton and William Neff contributed to this report.

Updated May 19, 2022

War in Ukraine: What you need to know