In this live blog you can read the most important developments surrounding the war in Ukraine.
Record defense spending in the world, Ukraine spent 640 percent more
Global defense spending rose to a new all-time high last year. According to the Stockholm-based research institute Sipri, defense spending rose 3.7 percent last year to more than $2.2 trillion. It is the eighth year in a row that military spending has risen.
Spending rose the most in Europe, with an increase of 13 percent. This is the largest increase in more than thirty years. This was mainly due to the sharp increase in military spending by Russia and Ukraine, but also the concern in Europe about the threat from Russia. Many countries in the former Soviet Union have more than doubled their military spending since 2014. That is the year Russia annexed Crimea.
Ukraine itself spent $44 billion on defense last year, an increase of 640 percent. That is more than a third of the total national income, according to Sipri. Russia spent 9.2 percent more on the military: more than 86 billion dollars.
The United States remains the country with the highest defense spending. The US spent $877 billion on defense last year, much more than runner-up China, with an estimated $292 billion. This is followed by Russia, India ($81 billion) and Saudi Arabia ($75 billion).
The first EU country comes in seventh place. That’s Germany, with $55.8 billion. EU countries that significantly increased their defense spending include Finland (36 percent), Lithuania (27 percent), Sweden (12 percent) and Poland (11 percent).
Welcome to this week’s live blog about developments in Ukraine. Last week’s blog can be read here.