For nearly two weeks, Ukraine has stood its ground against Russian encroachment in the largest conventional military attack since World War II, with major cities being bombed and more than 2 million people fleeing the country since the invasion began.
While the U.S. is reluctant to directly confront Russia and has resisted repeated calls from Ukraine to enforce a no-fly zone over the country, that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not doing anything to aid Ukraine.
In fact, America — its government, its people and its businesses — are taking many extraordinary steps on behalf of Ukraine. Here’s a look at how we’re already helping.
Sanctions are the biggest way the U.S. has pressured Russia to stand down. Most recently, President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil and gas imports and said that sanctions so far have brought the value of Russia’s currency, the ruble, down by more than half since the invasion began.
Many Russian banks have been cut off entirely from the international financial network. Visa, Mastercard and American Express have all suspended service in Russia, too.
It’s not just finance. Energy companies, carmakers, consumer goods, tech — tons of household names have paused or abandoned business in Russia. CBS News is maintaining a running list.
Other sanctions have targeted Russian President Vladimir Putin personally, or many of his wealthiest supporters. There’s an ongoing effort to seize “their yachts and luxury apartments and money and other ill-gotten gains,” Biden said on Tuesday.
2. Humanitarian aid
The U.S. has sent and continues to send thousands of tons of food, water and medical supplies, providing support to Ukrainians who have fled and those sheltering in place.
The U.S. will “share in the responsibility of caring for the refugees so the costs do not fall entirely on the European countries bordering Ukraine,” Biden said Tuesday.
Before February was even over, the U.S. had committed $54 million to people affected by the invasion. In addition to needed supplies, this money helps humanitarian groups maintain contact between family members separated by the conflict, plus provide shelter and emergency health care.
Business leaders, celebrities and average Americans have all donated generously to charities supporting Ukraine, or in some cases directly donated to the Ukrainian military. More than $15 million in donated cryptocurrency has been used to purchase food, medical supplies and bulletproof vests, according to Bloomberg.
Read more about “How You Can Help People in Ukraine” with your donations.
4. Military aid
The U.S. has already provided more than $1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, Biden said.
Meanwhile, Congress is working on an aid package that will provide nearly $14 billion in military, humanitarian and economic aid.
“The money is expected to boost key programs at the Pentagon, State Department and other agencies, so that they can better deliver military assistance, help defend against cyberattacks, respond to food insecurity in the region and shore up other NATO allies in the face of any further Russian aggression,” The Washington Post reported.
Beyond financial aid, the U.S. is providing armaments for Ukraine’s military.
“In less than a week, the United States and NATO have pushed more than 17,000 antitank weapons, including Javelin missiles, over the borders of Poland and Romania,” The New York Times reported.
The U.S. has also coordinated the delivery of defensive weaponry from other countries to Ukraine, according to Biden.