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Ukraine aid: Where the money is coming from, in 4 charts

Russia’s invasion has pitted Ukraine against a country with a massive military and one of the world’s biggest economies. More than $380 billion in aid, committed by mostly Western nations since January of 2022, has helped Ukraine keep the fight going.

That promised aid is arriving in various phases over several years. But with no end in sight to the war, more assistance is needed to replenish military stocks. In the United States, the largest single donor country, Congress remains locked in a stalemate over whether to approve further aid for Ukraine; the eventual outcome could define the future of the conflict.

To better understand the geopolitical debate behind backing Kyiv, CNN analyzed how international assistance to Ukraine stacks up.

Nearly $120 billion in military aid to Ukraine

Individual countries around the world have committed nearly $118 billion in direct military assistance to Ukraine, in addition to financial and humanitarian help. More than 40% of that is from the United States, according to data from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy through January 15, 2024.

The US Congress has approved around $46.3 billion in direct military aid to Ukraine since NATO countries began organizing support for Ukraine a month before the full-scale invasion, data shows. This is part of a total $113 billion approved aid budget for both defense and civilian needs — though not all of it is meant to go directly to Ukraine. Some of those funds are to replenish US military stocks depleted by previous donations of weaponry and ammunition to Ukraine and to help other countries impacted by the geopolitical situation.

A pending US bill would send another $60 billion to support Ukraine against Russia, though the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has yet to consider the measure and it’s unclear when and if that vote will be held.

Collectively, European Union (EU) countries have committed $50 billion in direct military support to Kyiv, with Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands the largest contributors. Additional funds have been committed via EU institutions. The United Kingdom has pledged nearly $10 billion in direct military aid.

Some of the highest-cost military donations include tanks, anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, weapon-locating radar systems, mine-clearing ships and patrol boats, helicopters, and multiple launch rocket systems, according to the Kiel Institute.

The US is leading the provision of heavy weapons

Thirty-three countries have pledged weapons and military equipment to Ukraine, according to the Kiel Institute data as of January. Several others have offered training and other indirect military assistance.

The number of tanks Poland has committed to Ukraine is unmatched by any other country — a total of 324, data shows. The US has given 76 tanks — less than a quarter of this number.

But the US leads in assistance with heavy weapons and accompanying ammunition, as well as in supplying Ukraine’s light infantry — with more than 300 million units of ammunition pledged. The country is providing 39 multiple launch rocket systems along with ammunition, and 301 Howitzer artillery weapons. Both have proved effective on the front line, Ukrainian officials have said.

At least 35 anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile systems have also been committed to Ukraine by the US — with only Germany committing more with 38 — and the total amount is likely higher as some quantities have not been disclosed.

The White House said earlier in March that it plans to send a new weapons package worth up to $300 million via presidential drawdown authority, which does not require congressional approval. But that figure was described by US President Joe Biden as “not nearly enough.”

A fair comparison

The US has committed the second-largest amount of money to help Ukraine overall — including military, financial and humanitarian assistance — after the European Union, which has sent a total of around $93.3 billion, according to Kiel Institute data. That figure does not include contributions from individual EU member states, which are counted separately.

But unlike some of Ukraine’s smaller allies, Washington’s contributions account for 0.3% of its GDP, data shows.

Denmark, Norway and the Baltic states bordering Russia — Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia — are committing a greater proportion of their wealth to the war at more than 1% of their GDP.

That figure includes humanitarian aid — such as ambulances, power generators, temporary bridges, family tents and Starlink terminals for satellite communication.

The largest singular financial contribution from a country is a $13.4 billion US grant to Ukraine’s government to help with various budgetary and infrastructure needs, including support for Ukraine’s energy security, according to the House Appropriations Committee.

Refugee costs add up for Ukraine’s European allies

When expenses related to hosting refugees are also included in aid calculations, contributions by the European allies who took in the majority of Ukrainian refugees become even more significant. Around 83% of Poland’s direct support for Ukraine goes to refugee costs — $22.7 billion out of more than $25 billion.

Poland has received the second-largest number of Ukrainian refugees (nearly 960,000 as of December 2023) in allied countries after Germany (more than 1.1 million as of February 2024), according to data from the United Nations refugee agency. Russia also has more than 1.2 million refugees, the UN data shows.

When factoring refugee costs into GDP calculations, the burden of Poland’s Ukraine aid increases from about 0.7% to more than 4% of GDP, compared to 1.1% for Germany, the Kiel Institute data shows.

The US has allocated $6.6 billion for indirect assistance to Ukrainian refugees as part of its approved aid package, and has processed around 515,000 Ukrainians into the country through various humanitarian programs in the two years since the war began, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS.

This story has been updated throughout and was originally published on October 6, 2023.

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