The six biggest countries in Europe did not provide new military pledges
to Ukraine for the first time since the Russia-Ukraine war kicked off in February 2022, according to Germany's Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
The United Kingdom, Poland, Spain, Germany, Italy and France had not given any new military pledges in July 2022. This appeared to be a subtle proclamation that Europe is "abandoning" Kyiv without a word. Ironically, these nations were among the most loyal supporters of Ukraine during the early days of the conflict. (Related: UK to send nearly $1.2 billion more in military aid to Ukraine
Christoph Trebesch, chief of the team behind the IfW's Ukraine Support Tracker, cited data from his group revealing that European military aid pledges have been on a downward trend
since April 2022.
"Despite the war entering a critical phase, new aid initiatives have dried up," he said.
Several potential causes are to blame for this slow abandonment, including the fact that Ukraine ranks in the bottom third of Transparency International's corruption index. In addition, as much as 70 percent of the arms shipped to the Ukrainian frontline do not reach the troops – with huge parts turning up in the black market.
The U.S., meanwhile, announced a $775 million package of weapons and supplies to Ukraine. The weapons package consists of 40 armored vehicles, 1,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles, 16 high-mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) missiles and high-speed anti-radiation missiles. The HIMARS units were capped at 16 so as not to burn the U.S. Department of Defense
's (DOD) own stockpile.
But exasperation over the war in Ukraine is not only present in Europe. Even the U.S., which had been very eager to send weapons to Kyiv, espoused a rather grim outlook.
According to a New York Times
article, the White House distrusts Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A senior official in the DOD has also admitted that Kyiv lacks enough troops to drive Russians from their positions.
Kyiv's use of human shields prolongs war
The Russia-Ukraine war has dragged on for too long, beyond what most predictions said. This is attributable to several reasons, including Kyiv's militarization of residential areas
as part of human shield tactics.
A recent Amnesty International (AI) report elaborated on these accusations, reiterating that Ukraine is not exempt from international law even though it is engaged in conflict with Russia.
"The Ukrainian military has endangered civilians by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in residential areas – including in schools and hospitals – as it has sought to repel the Russian invasion," AI said in a press release.
The group also found evidence of Kyiv-backed soldiers "launching strikes from within residential areas" and "basing themselves in civilian buildings. Moreover, Ukrainian military units were "using hospitals as de facto military bases" and had established "bases in schools in towns and villages."
"We have documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war when they operate in populated areas," said AI Secretary-General Agnes Callamard. "Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law."
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