The administration of US President Joe Biden has proposed a FY2025 provision to Ukraine of the lowest Foreign Military Financing (FMF) package since 2018, as part of his national Presidential Budget Request intended to address a range of domestic and foreign policy targets.

Released on 11 March 2024, the White House revealed that the FY2025 Presidential Budget will commit just $95m in FMF aid to Kyiv. Foreign Military Financing, or FMF, is used by the US State Department as a foreign policy tool to promote US interests with “coalition partners and friendly foreign governments”, providing military training and equipment.

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Not since 2016, when the US provided FMF assistance to Ukraine of $85m, has Washington provided a lower package to Kyiv.

A statement release by the Office of the Spokesperson of the US State Department stated that $482m had been requested for Ukraine. However, when broken down much of this is committed to non-military programmes such as economic recovery efforts and assistance to Kyiv’s planned EU accession.

Less than 20% of the planned assistance will go on funding directed towards military requirements.

“With the support of its partners, Ukraine can and will defend its sovereignty and democracy,” the State Department’s Office of the Spokesperson stated.

According to the latest data from the US Congressional Research Service (CRS), the US used FMF assistance to Ukraine heavily in 2022, the year of Russia’s invasion, committing $1.3bn to Ukraine. In 2023, the US committed $325m as other funding routes, such as the Presidential Drawdown Authority packages, came online to provide tens of billions of dollars in military financial aid to Ukraine.

US military assistance funding to Ukraine has now dried up, with a late-2023 additional supplemental package still being held up by Republican lawmakers looking to extract concessions from the incumbent Democrat administration.

In effect, the US is no longer able to sustain Ukraine’s fight against Russia, with the latter country having achieved notable successes on the battlefield in recent months, recently seizing the symbolic town of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine. Moscow’s forces are continuing to push westwards, with Ukraine’s forces starved of much-need ammunition amid wider battlefield shortages.

Earlier, on 6 March 2024, in a statement seemingly disassociated with the realities of the Ukraine-Russia war, the US State Department announced the creation of a “Ukraine Cities Partnership for Sustainable Urban Recovery”, a new public-private partnership intended “to help Ukrainians redesign and rebuild sustainable, inclusive, and resilient cities”.

The Ukraine war has so far seen over 500,000 military casualties and the near complete destruction of dozens of towns and villages in the east of the country. In November 2023 the United Nations estimated that nearly 30,000 civilians had been killed or injured in the Ukraine-Russia war.

Russia expands process of “Russification” of occupied Ukraine

Domestic politics in the US will have had a significant impact on President Biden’s FY2025 budget request, with a national election due later in the year. According to IPSOS polling data, President Biden is trailing former Republican President Donald Trump, who will campaign for re-election under the Republican banner.

It is widely expected that a US administration under Republican President Trump’s leadership will see military funding to Ukraine ended, providing Russia with renewed emphasis to continue his ambitions to seize the capital Kyiv, and with it, the potential capitulation of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, UK Defence Intelligence revealed on 11 March that approximately 2.8 million Ukrainian’s living in territory annexed by Russia are now Russian passport holders, after Moscow’s intensive “Russification” campaign required citizens living in occupied lands to register for passports in order to access basic services and utilities.

The deadline for Ukrainian’s living in Russian-occupied lands to register for Russian passports expires on 1 July 2024, after which time they will be considered stateless by Moscow. This represents the enforced Russian nationalisation of 6% of Ukraine's pre-war population.

The result of this process will provide Moscow with a casus belli to renew hostilities in the event of any future ceasefire or peace, in order to defend what it will technically consider its own citizens.

On 26 February 2024 Moscow decreed that lands annexed from Ukraine were to fall under the military jurisdiction of the Russian Southern Military District, in an attempt, according to UK Defence Intelligence, to make the integration of occupied territories into Russia “irreversible”.

Moscow has used the notional justification of military campaigns to protect ‘citizens’ or Russian-speaking peoples in its annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the neighbouring state of Georgia, against which it conducted a war in 2008 to seize the aforementioned territories.