Fact check: Trump’s misleading claims about Obama-Biden aid to Ukraine

The last time Russia invaded Ukraine, then-President Petro Poroshenko also addressed a joint session of Congress and said in 2014 that “you cannot win the war with blankets,” as part of an emotional plea for help in arming his troops. In response, the Obama administration announced $46 million in security assistance to Ukraine, which included body armor and night vision goggles, but no lethal assistance.
Over the weekend, former President Donald Trump critical Obama-Biden’s Ukraine aid efforts saying, “They sent blankets. I sent javelins.”
The facts first: Trump’s complicated history with Ukraine aid aside, it’s a misleading simplification for him to suggest that his predecessor provided no military aid to Ukraine. While the Trump administration was the first to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine, the Obama administration has provided military and defense equipment. In March 2015, the United States promised $75 million worth of equipment, including drones, anti-mortar radars, night vision devices, medical supplies and 230 Humvee armored vehicles, according to the Pentagon Security and Defense Cooperation Agency.

As President Joe Biden considers how much more help to bring to Ukraine in his latest fight against Russia, here’s a look at some of the help the United States has previously provided to Ukraine.

Since Russia first invaded Ukraine in 2014, the United States has committed more than $3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. These aid packages included military equipment to “strengthen Ukraine’s defensive capabilities”, according to a March 14 statement. report of the Congressional Research Service.
Through the Presidential Drawdown Authority and the Department of Defense’s Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, the United States has provided sniper rifles, grenade launchers, javelins and small arms in addition to essential non-lethal equipment. The Biden administration notably sent Stinger anti-aircraft weapons as part of the first PDA package of 2022 and pledged to redirect Mi-17 helicopters originally destined for Afghanistan through the Excess Defense Articles program.
Over the past year, the United States has provided more than $1 billion in comprehensive security assistance to Ukraine, according to a Feb. 26 statement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
In 2021 Blinken authorized $260 million in military assistance to Ukraine and after the invasion began he authorized an additional $350 million aid package for “immediate support” to the Ukraine.
Biden administration officials have said they are continuing to send security aid to Ukraine even as the Russian invasion continues. Just last week, Congress approved a $13.6 billion emergency aid package for Ukraine and lawmakers signaled bipartisan support for more aid.

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