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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher June 22, 2023

Accounting error on military support does not mean US sent Ukraine $6.2 billion by mistake

If Your Time is short

  • The Pentagon did not say it sent Ukraine $6.2 billion by mistake. 

  • It said it made an accounting error, overvaluing U.S. weapons and other military support sent to Ukraine by $6.2 billion.

  • The error has the effect of allowing for $6.2 billion more in military aid to be given to Ukraine.

The Pentagon said it made a $6.2 billion accounting error in estimating the value of military support the U.S. sent to Ukraine.

That doesn’t mean, as a Facebook user claimed, that the Pentagon sent $6.2 billion in cash to Ukraine by mistake. 

"Breaking News," the post said. "Pentagon said we ACCIDENTALLY SENT $6.2 BILLION DOLLARS to UKRAINE. Accounting error. This is straight-up money laundering."

The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

A Defense Department review determined that equipment sent to Ukraine was overvalued by $6.2 billion in fiscal years 2022 and 2023. 

Military officials counted the replacement cost of the weapons and equipment instead of the "net book value," Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said at a June 20 press briefing.

The replacement costs were $6.2 billion higher than the value of the weapons and equipment actually sent.

The department "retains the authority to utilize the recaptured" funds, Singh said, referring to the difference between the two valuations.

That means that the Pentagon has $6.2 billion more in weapons and equipment available to send to Ukraine.

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The figure was revised from a $3 billion accounting error that news reports revealed in May.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died, according to estimates, since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and started the war there. 

The U.S. committed about $78 billion in humanitarian, financial and military assistance to Ukraine from January 2022 to February 2023, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German-based research organization that tracks nations’ support of Ukraine, reported. 

The U.S. total included $47 billion in military aid. That figure ranked highest among all nations and 14th as a percentage of gross domestic product.

A Pew Research Center poll in June of U.S. adults age 18 and older found that 31% of respondents said the U.S. is providing the right amount of aid to Ukraine, 28% said too much and 16% said not enough.

The Pentagon did not say that it mistakenly sent Ukraine $6.2 billion in cash. 

We rate the Facebook post False.

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Accounting error on military support does not mean US sent Ukraine $6.2 billion by mistake

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