German Military Support to Ukraine Is Exaggerated

“The military support and arms deliveries that Germany has mobilized and promised [to Ukraine] amount to a total of €28 billion [us$30 billion],” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the Bundestag on March 13. This number has been used repeatedly to show Germany’s generosity.

But as Defense Budget Officer Ingo Gädechens told Bild on April 8, the number shrinks significantly if you read the small print.

Some of the €28 billion includes promises and announcements for the future (including for 2028). It is unclear whether the aid will still be of any use to Ukraine by then. If you only look at the aid actually delivered, only €10.2 billion of the €28 billion remain. In other words, €17.8 billion in the Scholz calculation is for future military support.

‘Creative accounting’: Some of the money will be reimbursed by the European Union (a requested €3.4 billion). Some weapons will go to other nations and Germany’s stockpile, separate from another reimbursement (€2.6 billion), according to Gädechens, who accused the government of “creative accounting” practices.

The chancellor is giving the impression that Germany has already provided €28 billion in military support for Ukraine. In truth, we haven’t even spent half of that so far.
—Ingo Gädechens

Delays: Germany has also consistently delayed weapons deliveries, giving Russia ample time to wreak havoc.

[W]e just don’t get the weapons systems at the time we need them. They come when they’re no longer relevant.
—Ukrainian officer

Supporting Ukraine? The revelations show that Germany’s support for Ukraine isn’t what it promises. The question is, Why not? Our May-June Trumpet issue explores this topic in detail.