UK promises extra £1 billion of military aid for Ukraine’s fight against Russia

The promise of extra military support comes after Ukraine’s president urged Nato leaders to do more to help his country resist Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

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The UK will provide an extra £1 billion of military aid for Ukraine, dramatically increasing its support for Volodymyr Zelensky’s defence of his country.

The new funding amounts to a 77% increase on the £1.3 billion already provided, with Boris Johnson claiming British support was “transforming Ukraine’s defences” against the Russian onslaught.

The promise of extra military support comes after Ukraine’s president urged Nato leaders to do more to help his country resist Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

At the Nato summit in Madrid, which ends on Thursday, the UK promised funding towards capabilities including sophisticated air defence systems, drones and electronic warfare equipment.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a bilateral meeting with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte
Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a bilateral meeting with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte
Prime Minister Boris Johnson stands beside US President Joe Biden and other world leaders posing for a family photo during the Nato summit in Madrid, Spain.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson stands beside US President Joe Biden and other world leaders posing for a family photo during the Nato summit in Madrid, Spain.

British officials said the equipment represents the first step in enabling Ukraine to go beyond defence and carry out offensive operations against Russian ground forces in order to recover lost territory.

Mr Johnson said: “Putin’s brutality continues to take Ukrainian lives and threaten peace and security across Europe.

“As Putin fails to make the gains he had anticipated and hoped for and the futility of this war becomes clear to all, his attacks against the Ukrainian people are increasingly barbaric.

“UK weapons, equipment and training are transforming Ukraine’s defences against this onslaught.

“And we will continue to stand squarely behind the Ukrainian people to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine.”

The UK is counting its support for Ukraine within its defence spending, taking its commitment to around 2.3% of gross domestic product – a measure of the size of the economy.

The level of spending on defence has been the source of a row between No 10 and the military, with calls for extra funding for UK forces to meet the increased demands as a result of the instability caused by Russia’s actions.