‘Russia is changing tactics’ UK sends anti-air missiles to Ukraine to adapt to new threat
Britain to explore donation of missiles to Ukraine says Wallace
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Ben Wallace revealed the Russians are “changing their tactics” as the conflict “intensifies” and says the UK must do more to aid Ukraine in its fight. Mr Wallace announced to help Ukraine combat the Russian airforce, in light of a no-fly zone rejection, the UK would explore donating anti-air missiles to Ukraine to better their defences. Additionally, the UK would be increasing rations, medical equipment, and other non-lethal supplies to the warzone including an increase in humanitarian aid spending in what he says makes the UK the “single biggest bilateral humanitarian donor”.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Wallace announced new support measures the UK would be given to Ukraine.
He said: “As the conflict intensifies, Mr Speaker, the Russians are changing their tactics.
“And so the Ukrainians need to, we can all see that horrific devastation inflicted on civilian areas by Russian artillery and airstrikes, indiscriminate and murderous.
“It is vital therefore that Ukraine maintains its ability to fly and suppress Russian air attacks.
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“To date, the international community has donated over 900 Man-Portable Air Defence missiles and thousands of anti-tank guided weapons of varying types, as well as various small arms.
“But the capability needs strengthening, so in response to Ukrainian requests, the Government has taken the decision to explore the donation of Starstreak high-velocity man-portable anti-air missiles.
“We believe that this system will remain within the definition of defensive weapons and will allow the Ukrainian forces to better defend their skies.”
Mr Wallace added the UK would be boosting their humanitarian support to Ukraine and would be offering more funds.
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He continued: “We shall also be increasing the supplies of rations, medical equipment and other non-lethal military aid.
“As with any war, the civilian population is suffering horrendous hardships, according to Ukrainian Ministry of Education 211 schools have been damaged or destroyed and media footage shows Russian strikes cutting kindergartens…
“Today the estimated number of Ukrainian civilians killed or injured now stands at over 1000.
“The true figure is expected to be much higher and I’m afraid worse is likely to come.
“It is for that reason that the UK will increase its funding from Ukraine to £220million which includes £120million of humanitarian aid.
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“This will make the United Kingdom the single biggest bilateral humanitarian donor to Ukraine.”
Mr Wallace also stated the UK would be helping closer to the ground in Ukraine by helping Polish border forces.
The Defence Secretary laid out further numbers surrounding UK donations.
He told MPs: “On January 17, I announced to the House the Government’s intention to supply military aid to the Ukrainian armed forces.
“The initial supply was to be 2,000 new light anti-tank weapons, smaller arms and ammunition.
“In response to further acts of aggression by Russia we have now increased that supply.
“I can update the House as of today we will have delivered 3,615 NLAWs (anti-tank missiles) and will continue to deliver more.”
Mr Wallace warned the conflict would only become “more brutal and more indiscriminate” as the Russians face strong resistance from Ukrainian troops.
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