The United States-led defense meeting composed of 43 countries was held at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany in an effort to rally more financial and military support for Ukraine last Tuesday. The Ramstein defense meeting is the first major meeting for defense ministers from all around the world to discuss support for Kyiv, with some countries attending virtually.

“As we see this morning, nations from around the world stand united in our resolve to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s imperial aggression,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. “Ukraine clearly believes that it can win, and so does everyone here.”

Among those that led the meeting for the “Ukraine Defense Consultative Group” alongside Austin was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and Air Force General Tod D. Wolters, the most senior military officer stationed in Europe.

The defense meeting led by US Defense Secretary Austin at Ramstein Air Base, Germany (РУХА English). Source:
The defense meeting was led by US Defense Secretary Austin at Ramstein Air Base, Germany (РУХА English/Twitter)

With the invasion on its 8th week, the Russians have made little significant success in its conquest to “liberate” Donbas. However, this does not mean the Russian forces are to be underestimated. Russia was seen to be employing actual combined arms combat in the eastern region of Ukraine, a tactic that they did not successfully do during the first phase of their war.

This means that the battlefield and environment have shifted, calling for new weapons and support for the Ukrainians to repel any Russian advances into their territory successfully. While numerous countries have already donated financial resources and heavy military weaponry to Ukraine in the past couple of weeks, much more is needed to defeat the Russian onslaught.

The US currently leads the supporting role for Ukraine, donating $3.7 billion in military and economic support since the war started on February 24th. Since January 2021, the US has invested more than $3.7 billion in total security assistance. This includes the recent $800 million military support package, which contained the Phoenix Drones, and the previous $800 million support package. The previous support package included Mi-17 helicopters, M113 Armored Personnel Carriers, 155mm Howitzers, and Javelins, to name a few.

Other western allies have been hesitant to provide heavy weaponry to Ukraine, with Poland following the US in terms of donations. Poland has been good about taking in Ukrainian refugees, but assistance to Ukraine so far has mostly been in the form of loan guarantees not weapons.  However, the amount spent by European countries to aid Ukraine has not nearly been enough. The total commitment of the US to Ukraine’s defense is on the order of $7.7 billion, while the total of all contributions from the EU is just 1.7 billion Euros.