Adrian Dennis Agence France-Presse Vladimir Poutine «teste les défenses ukrainiennes et la détermination de l’Occident […], le Royaume-Uni reste absolument déterminé à soutenir l’Ukraine», a déclaré le ministre britannique de la Défense Grant Shapps.
The United Kingdom announced on Friday the sending of around 200 anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine to strengthen its defenses, after the wave of Russian strikes on several cities in the country, calling on its allies to “redouble their efforts” to support militarily Kiev.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is “testing Ukraine's defenses and the West's resolve […] and today's dispatch of an air defense package sends a compelling message that, “In the face of Russian barbarity, the United Kingdom remains absolutely committed to supporting Ukraine,” British Defense Minister Grant Shapps said in a statement.
These ASRAAM type missiles, initially designed to be fired from the air, have been adapted to power ground anti-aircraft defense systems, already delivered by the British to Ukraine at the end of 2022.
They will “strengthen Ukraine’s crucial air defense capability,” the Defense Ministry detailed.
Moscow launched a large series of missile and drone strikes on Friday morning on several cities in Ukraine, including the capital Kiev, which left at least 18 people dead and 132 injured, according to Ukrainian authorities.< /p>
“[Vladimir] Putin’s latest wave of deadly airstrikes is a desperate and futile attempt to revive himself after the catastrophic losses of hundreds of thousands of conscripts,” insisted Grant Shapps.
The minister also called on “the free world” to “come together and redouble their efforts to give Ukraine what it needs to win.”
Since the start of the year, the United Kingdom has sent Challenger 2 battle tanks, three batteries of AS-90 artillery guns, and hundreds of armored vehicles and Storm Shadow cruise missiles, and long-range attack drones.
The amount of British military aid to Ukraine amounts to 4.6 billion pounds (7.8 billion Canadian dollars).
The British army has also trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, including future pilots capable of handling the F16 fighter jets.
A first cohort of six pilots completed a training phase in the United Kingdom last week, and returned to Denmark to continue their training on F16s.