Ukrainian President Wants Billions More from US Taxpayers

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky called for even more Western financial assistance and war supplies in a speech this week that followed a Russian missile strike on a shopping mall that killed at least 12.

Zelensky said, “The world can, and therefore must, stop Russian terror.” He said his military is expecting a supply of reliable missile defense systems from the West.

In April, Zelensky said that Ukraine would have to have $7 billion each month during the Russian invasion simply to replenish resources depleted by the war. His assumption that the world will come through is reasonable, based on how things have gone since the invasion began in February.

The U.S. alone has sent $54 billion in aid to Ukraine between February and May. America also sent $6.1 billion in weapons and equipment, according to a Defense Department report issued last week. In addition, Joe Biden has used executive authority to draw down U.S. military resources to send billions more in weapons and equipment to Ukraine. The president has ordered 13 such drawdowns since last August.

In addition to moving more than 100,000 U.S. troops to nearby NATO-member nations, the U.S. has sent Stinger and Javelin anti-aircraft systems, Switchblade drones, Howitzers, Mi-17 helicopters, and hundreds of thousands of artillery system rounds.

The nation has already sent more than 7% of the 2022 defense budget to Ukraine. The $54 billion already sent in aid is greater than the entire annual budget of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The $40 billion disbursement approved by Biden in May does not include any direct oversight of how the money is allocated by Ukraine. As a result, there is no real accountability for the funds or whether the money has been spent as intended.

A report from Transparency International in 2021 found that Ukraine is the second most corrupt European nation, trailing only Russia. Since the Russian invasion, Zelensky has banned 10 opposing political parties and shut down television stations opposing his government.

On Thursday, Biden announced his plans for sending an additional $800 million to Ukraine as “security assistance.” The package will include air defense systems and some offensive weapons.

The announcement came after Biden’s attendance at a NATO summit in Madrid this week. He said the summit helped cement the alliance’s commitment to remain united in addressing the Russian invasion of non-member Ukraine.