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How Western weapons transformed the war in Ukraine

And how the US influences which weapons Ukraine gets and which ones it doesn’t.

When Russia first invaded Ukraine in 2014, the US was hesitant to send more than supplies to the Ukrainian army. But when Russia launched a full-scale invasion in 2022, the US changed its tune.

President Joe Biden quickly began approving huge packages of weapons to help Ukraine stymie the Russian attack. And for the first couple of weeks, it worked. The Ukrainian army used weapons from the US and its Western allies to stop Russia from capturing Kiev.

As the war progressed, so did US help. It sent heavy artillery in the spring, and then sent tanks in winter 2023. But each time, it deliberated over whether Ukraine can effectively use what was being sent, and whether the new weapons would provoke Russia to escalate the conflict.

So far, that hasn’t happened, and the US and its allies are now considering sending Ukraine long-range missiles and F-16 fighter jets. Both would be game changers for Ukraine.

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