The governors of Iowa and Nebraska announced last week interagency initiatives to donate police protective gear— including military-grade equipment such as helmets and vests—to Ukraine to help civilians defend themselves against Russian forces.
The agencies join a growing list of police departments—from California to Ohio to Vermont—that are donating non-lethal police gear to aid Ukrainian civilians, according to a CNN review of state-by-state efforts and interviews with some of those involved.
It’s unprecedented, experts say, for US law enforcement agencies to donate police protective equipment and military-grade gear to a foreign country involved in an ongoing war.
The effort also raises questions about the roles of police departments and whether, as domestic law enforcement agencies, they should send equipment to a foreign conflict outside of their jurisdiction.
Ukraine is seeking tens of billions of dollars in financial aid from the International Monetary Fund’s COVID-19 relief program. Kiev says it is in dire economic straits due to the Russian invasion, while the World Bank estimates the country’s GDP will drop by a staggering 45% in 2022.
Ukraine’s Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko outlined his country’s economic struggles in an interview with the Financial Times on Monday (April 11), saying the crisis had become existential.
“We are under great stress, in the very worst condition. Now it is a question of the survival of our country. If you want us to continue fighting this war, to win this war . . . then help us,” he said.
Marchenko went on to propose that Ukraine be given access to billions in IMF funds allocated for international COVID-19 relief but never used, calling on rich nations to step up their contributions. The IMF opened a separate account last week for the express purpose of funneling money to Kiev, following a $1.4 billion loan approved in March under the fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument.
Source: Libertarian Institute