Belarusian KGB misleads with conspiracy claims about the US preparing for war with Russia
The Belarusian KGB is using an amended bill as the basis for a conspiracy claim that the US was preparing for a war with Russia in January before Russia attacked Ukraine. The post reads:
The United States was preparing Ukraine for war with Russia. The United States was preparing its Ukrainian Lend-Lease project back in January 2022, as evidenced by the information on the website of the US Congress.
This is false. The bill has been amended since its introduction (April 6, 2022) to reflect the Russian invasion. The January 19 version of the bill stated:
To provide enhanced authority for the President to enter into agreements with the Government of Ukraine to lend or lease defense articles to that Government to protect civilian populations in Ukraine from Russian military invasion, and for other purposes.
The bill summary from January 19 stated:
The waivers provided by this bill shall be in effect until (1) the conflict beginning with Russia's annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014 has ceased, and (2) Russia has reduced its military force on Ukraine's eastern border to the levels maintained prior to March 1, 2021.
The text doesn’t show any intention of fighting with Russia but rather, an effort to expedite the process of getting weapons and aid to Ukraine. Preparing for a worst-case scenario is standard in government, especially regarding military, infrastructure, and public health. The bill summary, edited April 6, now reads:
This bill temporarily waives certain requirements related to the President's authority to lend or lease defense articles if the defense articles are intended for Ukraine's government or the governments of other Eastern European countries affected by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Here the wording has changed to reflect that Russia had invaded Ukraine and now includes the ability to help other countries that Russia may attack.