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UK PM Johnson Announces £300Mln Military Aid Package to Ukraine

Sputnik News

Ilya Tsukanov

Britain has delivered hundreds of millions of pounds' worth of military equipment and training support to Ukraine since 2014, including through "Operation Orbital", a secrecy-laden operation over the course of which more than 22,000 Ukrainian troops were trained in the use of portable anti-tank missiles and other weapons.

The United Kingdom has put together "a new package of support" for Ukraine totalling some £300 million ($376 million), Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced.

"I can announce today from the UK government a new package of support totalling £300 million, including radars to pinpoint the artillery bombarding your cities, heavy lift drones to supply your forces, and thousands of night vision devices", Johnson said, speaking before Ukraine's parliament via videolink on Tuesday.

Britain will also send Ukraine Brimstone anti-ship missiles and Stormer anti-aircraft systems "in the coming weeks", Johnson promised.

"In January of course - just before Putin launched his onslaught - we sent you planeloads of anti-tank missiles, the NLAWs which I think have become popular in Kiev, and we have intensified that vital effort, working with dozens of countries, helping to coordinate this ever-bigger supply line, dispatching thousands of weapons of many kinds, including tanks now and armoured vehicles", the prime minister boasted.

Characterising the conflict in Ukraine as a battle between "freedom versus oppression", "right versus wrong", and "good versus evil", Johnson stressed that Ukraine "must win", and signed off with the nationalist greeting "Slava Ukraini!" ("Glory to Ukraine") - a phrase used by Ukrainian fascist formations and militias during the Second World War, and used by Ukrainian politicians, the military, and neo-Nazi militants since the 2014 Maidan coup.

The United Kingdom is the second-largest supplier of weaponry to Ukraine after the United States, sending hundreds of millions of pounds' worth of equipment, ranging from British-made anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to minehunters, missile boats, armoured vehicles, and long-range artillery to the country in recent years. London sponsored the construction of a new military base in Ochakov, Nikolaev region in southern Ukraine, which Russian forces promptly destroyed in February after kicking off the special operation. The UK has also provided the Ukrainian military with intelligence support.

Last week, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Britain should send even more equipment to Ukraine, including "heavy weapons, tanks and aeroplanes", and called on NATO to "double down" and "keep going further and faster" to "push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine".

Also last week, the Russian Defence Ministry warned that the UK would evoke an "immediate and proportional response" from Moscow if it continued to provoke Kiev into launching attacks on Russian soil using British-made weapons. The warning came after Armed Forces Minister James Heappey suggested that such strikes would be fair game.

© Sputnik

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