Boris announces £54m military aid for Ukraine

The package comprises 850 hand-launched Black Hornet micro-drones, which are used to spot incoming enemy forces and are made particularly for use in cities and villages…reports Asian Lite News

As the war between Moscow and Kyiv entered its 183rd day on Thursday, the government announced an additional £54 million military aid package for Ukraine, including 2,000 cutting-edge drones and loitering bombs, to fight against the invading forces.

As per a press release, this announcement came upon the arrival of outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv on Wednesday. It is to mention that Ukraine marked 31 years of its independence on August 24.

On the occasion, PM told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that his nation “can and will win the war”, while urging the international community to continue supporting Kyiv as Britain staunchly defends its sovereignty six months after Putin’s “violent and unlawful” invasion. 

Furthermore, the Prime Minister discussed the government’s next significant package of support while meeting Zelenskyy to commemorate 31 years of Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union. According to the release, this support includes unmanned surveillance and anti-tank loitering munitions, which the Armed Forces of Ukraine have requested.

According to the release, the package comprises 850 hand-launched Black Hornet micro-drones, which are used to spot incoming enemy forces and are made particularly for use in cities and villages. The helicopter drones, which are smaller than a smartphone, can transmit live video and still photographs so that ground troops may safely protect metropolitan areas.

In order to assist Ukraine in finding Russian mines in the seas off its shore, the UK is also getting ready to offer its minehunting vehicles. In the upcoming weeks, Ukrainian troops will receive training on how to utilise them on UK seas. The UK also keeps up with the expansion of military training for Ukrainian soldiers.

Speaking about helping Ukraine with necessary aid to fight Russian aggression, PM Boris Johnson said, “For the past six months, the United Kingdom has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine, supporting this sovereign country to defend itself from this barbaric and illegal invader,” as per the release. He added, “Today’s package of support will give the brave and resilient Ukrainian Armed Forces another boost in capability, allowing them to continue to push back Russian forces and fight for their freedom.”

Meanwhile, for the first time in history, Britain is not importing any form of energy from Russia since the trade between the two nations has collapsed following the Kremlin’s command to invade Ukraine in February. According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK’s imports from Russia fell by 97% in June and amounted to barely £33 million when sanctions went into force.

As per the ONS statistics, the government has already accomplished its goal of gradually ceasing imports of Russian oil by the end of 2022 and of liquefied natural gas as soon as possible beyond that date.

Notably, Britain has imported fuel from Russia on average of £499m in the 12 months prior to the conflict, but this amount has now fallen to zero, marking the first time this has happened since the recording started in 1997. According to the ONS, the UK has made up for this by bringing in more refined oil from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Following the invasion of Ukraine, imports of other Russian commodities, notably vodka, have also completely stopped. In addition to significant extra taxes on some commodities, bans were issued on a variety of Russian products, including iron and steel, silver, gold, high-end goods, and wood products.

ALSO READ-Support for Ukraine must continue, says Boris

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