Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

New aid to Ukraine drops to lowest level since war began

Ukrainian servicemen fire anti-aircraft artillery during an anti drone drill in Chernigiv region on Nov. 11, 2023.    (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Daryna Krasnolutska Bloomberg News

Newly committed aid to Ukraine dropped to the lowest level since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion, highlighting concerns about wavering support for Kyiv’s war effort from Western allies.

Fresh support fell almost 90% between August and October from the the same period a year ago to $2.3 billion, according to data tracked by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy released on Thursday. The amount was the lowest since January 2022. Ukraine is increasingly dependent on just a few donors including Germany, the U.S. and some countries from the Nordics, and eastern Europe.

The report comes after Senate Republicans blocked $66 billion in emergency Ukraine assistance, heightening the risk U.S. funding for the country’s war effort will run dry. Support from the European Union is also looking increasingly shaky after Hungary threatened to torpedo next week’s summit in Brussels, where it’s going to be discussed.

“Our figures confirm the impression of a more hesitant donor attitude in recent months,” Christoph Trebesch, head of the team in charge of the Ukraine Support Tracker and director of a research center at the Kiel Institute, said in an emailed statement. “Given the uncertainty over further U.S. aid, Ukraine can only hope for the E.U. to finally pass its long-announced $50 billion support package. A further delay would clearly strengthen Putin’s position.”

Ukraine’s much-anticipated counteroffensive has so far failed to deliver a breakthrough after Russian troops built strong defensive lines. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised Wednesday to press on with fighting as he asked Group of Seven leaders to push back against mounting uncertainty over financial support from the U.S.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday accused Republicans of “playing chicken with our national security” as he delivered a speech, again urging them to approve $106 billion in support Ukraine and Israel.

Of the 42 donors tracked by the Kiel Institute, only 20 have committed new aid packages in the August-October period, the smallest share of active donors since February 2022, when Russia started the war. The outlook is “unclear” since the largest pending aid commitment — by the E.U. — hasn’t been approved yet and aid by the U.S. has been on the decline, the Kiel Institute said.