Bubnova Natalia
US and other Western countries’ military assistance to Ukraine after the beginning of Russia’s special military operation
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ISSN 1726-5223

DOI 10.31249/rsm/2023.02.06

The attempts by the United States and NATO to incorporate Ukraine into their military orbit became ever more apparent starting from 2014. The events of 2022 radically changed the nature and scope of the military participation of the West in the Ukrainian crisis. The multi-billion military assistance provided to Ukraine by the United States and other members of the western coalition after the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine became, alongside with the unprecedented anti-Russian sanctions, their main instrument to counter Russia’s course in Ukraine and, consequently, an attempt to weaken Russia. Throughout 2022, western countries and other states supporting them continued to ship weapons to Ukraine, share their intelligence data with it, render aid in cybersecurity, and conduct training for the Ukrainian military personnel. As the conflict unfolded and depending on its development, the United States and its allies would repeatedly raise their stakes, expanding the shipments accordingly to include increasingly more advanced offensive armaments and, eventually, heavy weapons, from artillery to surface-to-air systems to tanks. Pentagon was signing long-term contracts for military equipment to be built on order specifically for Kyiv, and was sending weapons to the European countries to replenish their dwindling arsenals. US and NATO’s military presence in Europe was expanding. Despite the contradictions between NATO members, their standoff with Russia in connection with the Ukrainian crisis led, to a significant extent, to the consolidation of the Alliance. Both Washington and Brussels, however, also shared a negative approach as to the direct military involvement into the armed conflict and took efforts to prevent its spill-over into an all-out war and to avoid provoking the use of nuclear weapons. Though the scope of weapons deliveries to Ukraine would depend on their continued support by the American and European political communities and publics, both the United States and other western countries were declaring their commitment to continue providing military assistance to Ukraine «as long as it takes».


Keywords: Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine | military assistance to Ukraine | weapons deliveries to Ukraine | US policy | NATO | heavy weapons shipments to Ukraine | Lend-Lease | use of nuclear weapons |

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