New Delhi: On Friday, when US secretary of state Anthony Blinken announced $150 million worth of military assistance to Ukraine, it was the ninth such assistance that Ukraine had received from the US since August 2021. When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on 24 February that he was launching a “special military operation” against Ukraine, it was supposed to be a “swift and short” operation which was described by retired army generals, who appeared on CNN and BBC, as something that would be over within 10 days with the fall of Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. The war is now in its 74th day and there is no indication that Kyiv will fall anytime soon.
A primary reason for this “unexpected” result has been the massive, regular military assistance that Ukraine has been getting from the US, which even though has refused to be directly involved in the fight, has been supplying arms liberally to the Ukrainian army. As per official documents, since February 2024, the Joe Biden administration has committed a total of more than $3.7 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. Since 2014, when Russia first invaded Ukraine, till 24 April 2022, the United States has provided more than $6.4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.
The latest data shows that the US government has so far provided 1400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 5500 Javelin anti-armour systems and 14000 other anti-armour systems. Apart from these assets, that are primarily used by the infantry, the US has given 120 Phoenix Ghost Tactical drones and 700 Switchblade Tactical drones which are like floating grenades designed to fall on a designated target on the ground and something that have caused significant loss to the Russian forces and also played a key role in delaying the Russian infantry and artillery movements.
The Ukraine army has also received 90 sets of 155 mm Howitzers artillery guns along-with 184000 artillery rounds, 16 piece of Mi-17 helicopters, hundreds of armoured Humvee Vehicles, 200 M-113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), 7,500 small arms, 60 million rounds of ammunition, laser-guided rocket systems and other essential equipment’s including communications and intelligence equipment.
These are apart from the sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, counter-artillery radars, Mark VI patrol boats, electronic warfare detection and secure communications, satellite imagery and analysis capability, counter-unmanned aerial systems (UAS), air surveillance systems to monitor sovereign airspace, night vision devices, equipment to support military medical treatment and combat evacuation procedures that Ukraine army had demanded which was provided for.
The ramifications of this “unexpected” result and the failure of the world’s fifth largest army to defeat a much smaller army, experts said, has forced China’s military planners to do a rethink and postpone their inevitable plan to take control of Taiwan and other “disputed” regions as the same template of flooding Taiwan army with an array of offensive and defensive weapons by other countries including the US, as is being done in Ukraine, will now be replicated in Taiwan if China decides to launch a similar “special operation” against the island country.
China military strategists—as per one Indian official and a foreign diplomat—are now working to change their military strategies as far as Taiwan is considered in view of the lessons that they have learnt from the Russian-Ukraine war.
The Chinese invasion of Taiwan, which was expected to take place sometime this year or early next year, is unlikely to be attempted any time soon, the officials said.