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Ukraine’s $61 Billion Question

ukraine war
The aid package passed by Congress should last Ukraine through the end of 2024—but then again, it will have to. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images
Julia Ioffe
April 30, 2024

A broken clock is right twice a day, and last week, after seven months of the Biden administration predictions, Congress finally got its act together and passed the Ukraine supplemental. Now, $61 billion in urgently needed aid is on its way to Kyiv, including munitions to push back the advancing Russian military and intercept the Russian missiles and Iranian drones raining down on Ukrainian cities. The Pentagon has had a lot of this equipment staged in Poland, ready to go the minute the supplemental package was signed into law. The question now is whether it will be enough. 

One senior administration official told me that the aid should last Ukraine through the end of 2024—but then again, it will have to. Given what it took to get this aid package through, it seems impossible that the Biden administration will be able to come back and ask for more before 2025. “This is the last supplemental of this level that we’ll get for Ukraine, and, frankly, it’s never been a sustainable approach,” said Alina Polyakova, who runs the Center for European Policy Analysis. “If every time our partner in Europe needs support, it has to get through two chambers of Congress—it’s not sustainable.”