The US has approved more than $54 billion of economic and military aid to Ukraine since February, while the UK has committed nearly $3 billion in military aid alone, and the EU has spent another $2.5 billion on arms for Ukraine.
An entire spectrum of equipment, from rifles and grenades to anti-tank missiles and multiple launch rocket systems have entered Ukraine.
However, this rarely goes smoothly, CBS News claimed this week.
“All of this stuff goes across the border, and then something happens, kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination,” Jonas Ohman, the founder of a Lithuania-based organization supplying the Ukrainian military, told the American news network.
Ohman said that getting the weapons to the troops involves navigating a complex network of “power lords, oligarchs [and] political players.”
“There is really no information as to where they’re going at all,” Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis adviser with Amnesty International, told CBS. “What is really worrying is that some countries that are sending weapons do not seem to think that it is their responsibility to put in place a very robust oversight mechanism.”
Ukraine insists that it tracks each and every weapon that crosses its borders, with Yuri Sak, an adviser to Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov, telling the Financial Times last month that reports to the contrary “could be part of Russia’s information war to discourage international partners from providing Ukraine with weaponry.”
However, some officials in the West have sounded alarm bells. A US intelligence source told CNN in April that Washington has “almost zero” idea what happens to these arms, describing the shipments as dropping “into a big black hole” once they enter Ukraine. Canadian sources said last month that they have “no idea”where their weapons deliveries actually end up.
Europol has claimed that some of these weapons have ended up in the hands of organized crime groups in the EU, while the Russian government has warned that they are showing up in the Middle East. An investigationby RT in June found online marketplaces where sophisticated Western hardware – such as Javelin and NLAW anti-tank systems or Phoenix Ghost and Switchblade explosive drones – was apparently being sold for pennies on the dollar.