The Atlantic

Ukraine’s Successful Courtship of Trump

Trump was convinced to sell lethal weapons to Ukraine thanks in part to a savvy charm offensive from Kiev—but the deal may be more bark than bite.
Source: Mykola Lazarenko / Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Reuters

The United States completed its shipment of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine on Monday, finalizing a sale that was reluctantly approved by President Donald Trump in November. The deal was widely reported as a rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who annexed Crimea and invaded eastern Ukraine in 2014. “This decision … reflects our country’s longstanding commitment to Ukraine in the face of ongoing Russian aggression,” Republican Senator Bob Corker said late last year.

But the terms of the arrangement show it may be more bark than bite. The weapons “have been delivered to a secure facility in Ukraine, not on the line of conflict,” Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine, told me. He did not elaborate further, but reported in January that the weapons would be stored in training centers in

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