Jan 11, 2024 - World

Over $1B of U.S. military aid to Ukraine not properly tracked: Pentagon report

A Ukrainian solider carries a munition.

A Ukrainian soldier carries artillery ammunition at the Bakhmut frontline, in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on Jan. 10. Photo: Ignacio Marin/Anadolu via Getty Images

More than $1 billion worth of weapons the U.S. has sent to Ukraine have not been properly tracked and remain "delinquent," according to a new Department of Defense Inspector General report.

Why it matters: The revelation comes as opposition to sending more aid to Ukraine has grown among Republicans in Congress in recent months, and Kyiv pleads for more aid to support its defense against Russian forces.

Details: More than $1 billion out of a total of $1.69 billion worth of aid that the U.S. has sent to Ukraine is considered delinquent, according to a redacted version of the Inspector General report released Thursday.

  • Investigators reviewed 39,139 high-risk weapons — including javelins, stinger missiles and night-vision devices, among others — that the Department of Defense has sent to Ukraine over the course of the invasion and the years prior.
  • It did not specify how many of the weapons are delinquent, only an estimate of their value, the New York Times reported.
  • The weapons the report focused on comprise only a fraction of the $50 billion in military equipment the U.S. has sent Ukraine since Russia annexed Crimea and parts of the Donbas region in 2014, per the Times.

Of note: Although the report does not suggest any of the weapons had been improperly diverted or misused, it states that evaluating whether weapons had been diverted was beyond the inspector general's scope.

  • High delinquency rates of weapons that are unaccounted for "may increase the risk of theft or diversion," the report stated.

Zoom in: The inspector general found that the rate of delinquency has decreased by 27% between in February and June 2023.

  • Despite this, "significant personnel limitations and accountability challenges remain," the report stated.
  • The report notes that obtaining a "full picture" of the weapons provided will continue to be difficult, because the "inventory continues to change, and accuracy and completeness will likely only become more difficult over time."

The big picture: A top Ukrainian general warned last year that the Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia had reached a "stalemate."

  • Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned earlier this month that he plans to "intensify the strikes" Russia conducts against Ukraine.
Go deeper