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HomeDefenceFinland among world's top military aid donors to Ukraine

Finland among world’s top military aid donors to Ukraine

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During the first year of the war, in 2022, Finland provided Ukraine with 190 million euros worth of military aid, but by last year that figure had grown to 1.4 billion euros.

At the beginning of April, the Finnish defence ministry announced that Finland was donating its 23rd defence aid package to Ukraine, bringing total Finnish donations to some two billion euros.

This month’s military materiel shipment alone was valued at 188 million euros.

Finnish aid for Ukraine has steadily picked up since the war started. Last year’s total was valued at 1.4 billion euros, a septupling over 2022.

Helmets and vests

At the start of the conflict, shipments from Finland consisted of relatively inexpensive items compared to the heavy weaponry headed to Ukraine these days, according to Charly Salonius-Pasternak, a leading researcher at the Finnish Institute for International Affairs (FIIA).

In 2022, Finland shipped items like bulletproof vests, helmets, assault rifles and ammunition, anti tank weapons as well as ration packs.

A year later, in 2023, Finland sent Ukraine six Leopard 2 mine-clearing tanks, anti-aircraft weapons as well as ammunition.

Puolustusvoimien kertasinko 66 KES 88 sotilaan olalla.
Anti-tank weapon 66 KES 88 Image: Puolustusvoimat
Puolustusvoimien rynnäkkökivääri RK 62M sotilaan käytössä.
Assault rifle RK 62M Image: Puolustusvoimat
Puolustusvoimien taistelukypärä M20.
M20 combat helmet Image: Puolustusvoimat
Puolustusvoimien luotisuojaliivi M17.
M17 bulletproof vest Image: Puolustusvoimat
Puolustusvoimien kenttähaupitsi 122 H 63 maastossa.
122-mm howitzer D-30 Image: Puolustusvoimat
Puolustusvoimien panssarihaupitsi 122 PSH maastossa.
Howitzer tank Image: Puolustusvoimat

Contents secret

The Defence Ministry has, however, remained relatively tightlipped regarding the contents of the Finnish aid packages.

“The assistance always considers both the needs of Ukraine and the resources of the Finnish Defense Forces,” the ministry said.

Terminology used to describe some of the defence materiel suggests that Finland may have exhausted its stockpile of aging defence equipment, according to Salonius-Pasternak. That said, the latest deliveries are more valuable in terms of their cost.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Helsinki was also unwilling to comment on the contents of Finnish military aid.

“We are extremely grateful for the comprehensive support provided by Finland,” the embassy said via email.

Mykhailo Samus, who heads the Kyiv-based research network New Geopolitics, told Yle that he was unaware of the details of Finnish materiel shipments. He did, however, emphasise that Ukraine would gladly take Soviet-era weaponry if Finland still has it on hand.

“Ukrainian soldiers are familiar with Soviet-era weapons, so there’s no need for separate training, as with Western weapons,” he explained.

According to the Kiel Institute, which tracks military support, Finland ranks tenth in a list of 31 countries. Finnish support for Ukraine outpaces that of, for example, France, Italy and Spain.

However, when adjusting for gross domestic product, Finland ranks ninth out of 41 countries. Behind Finland are Germany, Sweden as well as the United States, which recently approved $61 billion in aid for Ukraine.

Source: YLE

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