Ukraine receives 55 personnel carriers from Britain
Iran Press TV
Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:51AM
Britain has delivered 55 Saxon armored personnel carriers to Ukraine despite a shaky truce in the eastern parts of the former Soviet country.
Yuri Biryukov, an advisor to the Ukrainian president, announced the delivery in a message posted on his Facebook page, the Russian Tass news agency reported on Sunday.
"So, 55 armored personnel carriers have finally reached Ukraine. They have been taken to the territory of one of the military units. We are starting to adjust the vehicles to concrete specialized tasks," he wrote.
The cash-strapped Kiev, whose economy has strained since the breakout of crisis in Ukraine's east, is said to have paid about 51,000 pounds (USD 80,000) for each vehicle.
Back in February, Ukrainian media reported that 20 British Saxon armored vehicles were handed in to Kiev, with another 55 expected to arrive soon.
The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) said at the time that the vehicles were transferred by a private firm under a 2013 deal with the eastern European country.
The troop carriers were first used by the MoD in the 1980s, but went out of service some three years ago, according to an MoD spokesperson.
The development comes as Russia has repeatedly criticized plans by Western countries to supply weapons to Ukraine, saying it would only aggravate the situation in the country's restive provinces.
Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Moscow forces and Ukrainian army troops since April 2014, when Kiev launched military operations against the pro-Russians in control of government buildings there.
In February, Kiev and the pro-Russia forces agreed to stop fighting across the eastern conflict zone under the terms of a ceasefire brokered by international mediators.
The fragile truce has been frequently violated, with each side blaming the other for breaching the ceasefire.
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