PoliticsForeign Policy


Where did all the US aid to Ukraine go?

In the two years since the war between Ukraine and Russia began, U.S. taxpayers have given $73 billion to support Ukraine.
Posted at 3:52 PM, Feb 22, 2024

Feb. 24 marks two years since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, and the politics surrounding the conflict have certainly changed in that time. Currently, it's unclear if Congress will ever pass another aid package, with some lawmakers believing the U.S. has given enough aid. 

So how much have American taxpayers given Ukraine, and where has the money gone?

Desperate for soldiers, Ukraine weighs unpopular plan to expand draft
Newly recruited Ukrainian soldiers.

Desperate for soldiers, Ukraine weighs unpopular plan to expand draft

The parliament is considering legislation that would increase the potential pool of recruits, in part by lowering the enlistment age from 27 to 25.


In the last two years, American taxpayers have given around $73 billion to Ukraine. That's according to the Kiel Institute in Germany and its Ukraine Support Tracker

That's more aid than any other country has received from the U.S.

For perspective, that amount is close to what the annual budget in the Commonwealth of Virginia was in 2023, which was $83 billion.

The annual defense budget in the U.S. is around $800 billion. 

However, the money given to Ukraine pales in comparison to other issues funded over the years. In 2008, when the U.S. economy was in a recession, banks received around $700 billion.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, U.S. taxpayer funds have helped acquire 20 Mi-17 helicopters and 186 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. They helped purchase around 35,000 grenade launchers and 2,000 Humvee military vehicles. 

The money hasn't just gone to buying military equipment — $26.4 billion has been financial assistance. It has provided aid to small businesses in Ukraine and has paid the salaries of some first responders. 

If you are wondering how the U.S. contribution compares to other individual countries, it ranks at the top. The European Union, however — a group of 27 countries — has given around $96 billion in total, including $24 billion from Germany. The United Kingdom has given $17 billion.

That disparity is why some conservatives in Congress have been skeptical of giving Ukraine more, while some conservatives believe Ukraine cannot ever win the war.

One thing is clear: Parts of the U.S. are benefiting from all of this Ukraine spending. Data shared by the Department of Defense shows how hundreds of millions of dollars are first being spent in the U.S. on things like producing ammunition that ultimately goes to Europe. 

This week Scripps News sat down with the ambassador of Ukraine to the United States and asked a very important question: "Can the U.S. win the war without more help from the United States?," Haley Bull asked. 

"The short answer is no," Ambassador Oksana Markarova said.