Four major U.S. defense contractors sponsored a Washington, D.C., party for the 31st anniversary of the Ukrainian armed forces as they stand to gain billions from the ongoing war in Ukraine, according to a report.
Vox reported Saturday that the celebration, hosted by the Ukrainian Embassy last week, took place in downtown D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, located less than a mile from the White House, and that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley was in attendance.
The invitation said the event was “supported by” Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Pratty & Whitney, and Lockheed Martin — their logos emblazoned on the invite, reportedly prompting some observers to “laugh out loud.”
“It’s really bizarre to me that they would put that on an invitation,” a think-tank expert told Vox’s Jonathan Guyer. An academic also told Guyer, “The fact that they don’t feel sheepish about it, that’s interesting.”
“The explicit sponsorship indicates how intimate major military contractors have become with Ukraine, and how much they stand to gain from the war,” Guyer wrote, adding:
The invitation is a clear expression of how the war in Ukraine has been good for business. As Ukraine fights a defensive war against Russia’s brutal invasion, Ukrainians in Washington have been pushing for the US to send Ukraine more weapons. So far, President Joe Biden’s administration has committed a substantial $19.3 billion of military assistance since February.
The four companies sponsoring the party produce missile defense systems and anti-tank missiles that the Biden administration has poured into Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022.
Defense contractors’ stocks have soared since the war began. Lockheed stock is up 38 percent, according to Vox. The companies either declined to comment or did not respond to queries from Vox.