Lawmakers have continually insisted the $70 billion the U.S. has sent to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in 2022 has been critical military and humanitarian aid, but a new investigation by 60 Minutes has found the U.S. has spent $25 billion in non-military aid, buying Ukrainians much more than guns.
The investigative TV show found a litany of unusual expenditures that are beyond the scope of standard military and humanitarian aid. For instance, the U.S. funded the purchase of seeds and fertilizer for Ukrainian farmers. It has also been paying for the salaries of all 57,000 of Ukraine’s first responders. Divers clearing rivers and lakes of unexploded ammunition are also on the U.S. payroll, 60 Minutes reported.
The U.S. is also bankrolling a stimulus program for Ukraine’s small businesses. 60 Minutes interviewed the owner of a knitwear company in Kyiv and found the U.S. has helped her find new customers overseas, as well as meet her payrolls of over 70 families.
The U.S. has been the primary financier of the Ukrainian war effort, contributing $43 billion of military aid to Ukraine, while the rest of the European contributions combined total about $30 billion.
While Ukrainian authorities claim they can vouch for the integrity of these payments now, 60 Minutes noted a Department of Defense Inspector General’s report that found in the early days of the war, the U.S. government was unable to monitor weapons transfers, some of which were stolen by criminals.
While there are plenty of reasonable arguments on both sides of the debate about how much aid the U.S. should send to Ukraine, our leaders should be honest with us about where the money is actually going.
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