PICTURED: USS Coronado fires a harpoon missile during a 2016 exercise.
KYIV, Ukraine. June 14th, 2022. According to the head of the Ukrainian parliament’s finance committee, the country is in dire need of outside financial assistance of up to $5 billion per month to meet its spending commitments.
“We have to borrow $5 billion monthly. If we do not get it, we will have to cut spending,” Danylo Hetmantsev told local television on Tuesday. “We have no potential in the economy to raise taxes. We cannot do without the help of our partners as long as the fighting continues”.
The European Union and United States have provided hundreds of millions in currency for humanitarian aid, and the recently-passed Ukrainian Security Assistance Act from the U.S. provides 100% of the funding, through 2022, for the entire Ukrainian armed forces—around $43 billion.
Americans and Europeans are now jointly-facing the highest inflation in over 40-years, with huge challenges posed for the European Central Bank, and the American Federal Reserve. Despite this, the Pentagon has said it will be looking how to fund the military of Ukraine for 10 to 20 years into the future.
“And so as we look ahead, we’re thinking through what are the kinds of capabilities that the Ukrainians need to protect themselves over the long term,” said Dept. Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, said on Tuesday. “We’re trying to think through the kinds of both equipment but also any kind of longer-term training and defense establishment efforts that they will need”.
These are serious commitments, as Ukraine has already become a police state in response to this invasion, with President Zelenskyy arresting many of his political opponents, outlawing 11 major political parties, and preventing fighting-age males from leaving the country. It’s likely that these commitments will extend long after hostilities abate, and that Ukraine will join the list of police states propped up by the United States.
Of the $43 billion in security assistance, the first billion is due to depart the United States in the coming days, featuring escalatory weaponry like harpoon anti-ship missiles. Furthermore, Sect. of Defense Lloyd Austin recently held a conference at the Ramstein military base in Germany to secure Multiple Launch Missile Systems for Ukraine as well, which could be used to strike targets inside the Russian Federation.
Part of the Federation’s strategy now is to landlock Ukraine from the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, and with that potentially in mind, the United State will be sending weaponry which could be used to sink those ships, but which have also been debated within the U.S. and NATO as representing a serious threat to escalating the conflict.
Federation officials in particular are concerned about the Multiple Launch Missile Systems, which up until the Pentagon’s recent announcement, seemed to be considered too dangerous to give to Ukraine.
“The Multiple Launch Rocket Systems have a range that could easily strike inside Russian territory,” says Rick Rozoff, a reporter, and expert on NATO capacities. “If you want to talk about the extension of the war not only in time but in space, the Multiple Launch Missiles would provide that capacity”.
The harpoon missiles are a bit different in that they have already been delivered from Denmark, and have already been deployed on Ukrainian warships to deter Russian vessels in the Black Sea. However Ukraine’s defense minister described himself as unsatisfied.
“I cannot say that I am satisfied with the tempo and quantity of weapon supplies. Absolutely not,” Oleksii Reznikov said last week. “But at the same time, I am extremely grateful to the countries that support us. In particular, to the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Poland, and our Baltic friends”.
The delivery of harpoons and MLM Systems are not the only things risking escalation in the region. Recently, the Donetsk People’s Republic who have held the region since the Maidan revolution in 2014, sentenced two British nationals and one Moroccan to death on charges of joining the Ukrainian army and fighting them. Two Americans were also recently captured in Donbas fighting, Donetsk People’s Republic head Denis Pushilin told reporters he had no information on them at the time.
According to the Telegraph newspaper, two former servicemen of the U.S. army, fighting for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, were taken prisoner in combat near Kharkiv. The paper said that Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, joined a regular unit of the Ukrainian Armed Forces as volunteers, the first two confirmed U.S. fighters to be captured in the fighting. Should they too be handed death sentences, the potential risk for a proxy war to become open war would no doubt grow.