The Foreign Secretary has stated that Britain is “ensuring that Ukraine has the capability to defend itself”.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in Parliament:

“In December, I visited British troops forming part of NATO’s enhanced forward presence at Tapa in Estonia, where allies are helping to protect the border with Russia. We are working with our NATO partners to ensure that that protection remains in place and is enhanced so that we can fulfil our commitments.

With Ukraine, we are ensuring that it has the capability to defend itself. That involves training, and the UK has trained more than 20,000 troops in Ukraine. We are also supplying extra capability for naval defences as well as support in areas such as cyber-security and other services.”

The picture at the top of this article shows 16 Air Assault Brigade embarking on a Ukrainian Mil Mi-8 assault helicopter. The British military also conducts frequent surveillance flights near Ukraine.

Increased presence of British surveillance aircraft near Ukraine

British Military Assistance to Ukraine – what’s involved?

British military assistance to Ukraine was increased significantly after 2014 and the Russian annexation of Crimea, a Parliamentary Research Briefing paper has taken a look at just what that involves.

In 2015 the UK launched Operation Orbital, a non-lethal training and capacity building operation that provides guidance and training to the Ukrainian armed forces.

“In August 2020 the MOD announced that the UK will lead a new multinational maritime training initiative that will boost the capacity of Ukraine’s Navy to act in the Black Sea. The UK and Ukraine have also launched the Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme, which will develop Ukraine’s naval capabilities.

To date, over 21,000 Ukrainian military personnel have been trained under these initiatives. The UK has also gifted £2.2 million of non-lethal military equipment.”

In June 2021 the UK, Ukraine and industry signed a Memorandum of Implementation that will push the NCEP forward. Work will now commence on:

• Ukraine’s purchase of two refurbished Royal Navy Sandown-class minehunters in a government-to-government sale

• The sale and integration of missiles on new and in-service Ukrainian Navy patrol and airborne platforms, including a training and engineering support package

• Assistance in building new naval bases in the Black Sea and Azov Sea

• The development and joint production of eight fast missile warships

• Participation in the Ukrainian project to deliver a modern frigate capability.

You can read more directly from the briefing paper itself by clicking here.

Recently, HMS Defender ignored Russian warnings while the warship was sailing near Crimea, so Russia hit back with information warfare trying to paint a story of aggression.

‘Are you threatening us?’ asks British warship

You can read more on this here.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
56 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
3 months ago

Does the British Foreign Secretary sit around the conference table with his civil servants and brainstorm silly press releases so out of touch with reality that one suspects that they were smoking peyote at the time? Ukraine is not capable of defending itself against Russia and whatever assistance the UK is providing it won’t give it that capability. The UK isn’t able to provide the assistance required even if it wants to do so. Just who does the Foreign Secretary believe he’s fooling?

James Thompson
James Thompson
3 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Russia may have superior conventional forces, but is it willing to sustain heavy losses to win? That is the calculation that matters: The more losses Ukraine can inflict, the less likely an invasion is.

Ian
Ian
3 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

They said ‘ensuring Ukraine has the capability to defend itself’. They didn’t say from whom. I’m sure Ukraine is more than capable of handling any military incursion by say, the Federated States of Micronesia…

Jack
Jack
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian

If the invading force arrives in a flotilla of rubber dinghies, Ukraine is done for. We have no known means of seeing off such a threat.

dave12
dave12
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Jack, or should I say Ivan , you are Russian and poorly misinformed as usual , but go head and invade the Ukraine it will simply be Putins biggest mistake ,hence NATO will not fall over backwards with Putins demands , he has painted himself in a corner.

DRS
DRS
3 months ago
Reply to  dave12

I think Jack is referring to the situation in the channel and the 20k plus people that are coming over on rubber boats.

Jack
Jack
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

Exactly.

Meirion x
Meirion x
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Immigration is Not the remit of the Royal Navy, so go elsewhere for that discussion!

Jack
Jack
3 months ago
Reply to  dave12

“poorly misinformed” ? Isn’t that a double negative 🙂

dave12
dave12
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Russia seems to be a double negative, yes.

JohninMK
JohninMK
3 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Hey, earlier in the week I was Ivan. I think you need to sort out in your mind who of us deserves the title. In the last 24 or so hours Russia has moved up to 5000 VDV airborne and their equipment a few thousand miles using a fleet of around 80 aircraft. I doubt Russia will have any problem moving overland into Ukraine if they have to.

Meirion x
Meirion x
3 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Gaslighters like you using multiple accounts Ivan!

JohninMK
JohninMK
3 months ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Not sure what a ‘gaslighter’ is but I certainly don’t use more than one name, at my age its hard enough keeping that going.

Ian
Ian
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Ha ha…

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Well, taking it is one thing holding onto it without considerable pain might be another. But yes these pronouncements from the powers that be are so embarrassing, we couldn’t even defend ourselves without considerable help. But hey playing the National Anthem more often on the tv will I’m sure keep our spirits up.

Stokey
Stokey
3 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

I think you’ll find ‘he’ is a woman

dave12
dave12
3 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Wrong, the Ukraine would put up a good fight even if it is taken it can not be held ,why ? because its majority population see’s its future to the free , less corrupt west , they simply do not want anything todo with that train crash of a country Putins Russia , and wrong again the UK are able to train and equip the Ukraine, maybe its the fact that you do not like this rather then commenting it will not work.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
3 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Correct in my view. Putin should not think he will simply have a stroll in the park. Never much discussed in these situations is the reliability of Russian troops. Defending ‘Mother Russia’ is one thing but when the people you are saving can say ‘F— off! We are happy as we are’ in Russian the morale might not be that solid. Putin’s domestic situation is very dodgy as events in the ‘stans’, invaded and taken over by the Czars in the mid-19th century, are currently demonstrating. I wish the Russian people well, but their history since ever makes one glad… Read more »

dave12
dave12
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Exactly Barry , spot on.

Farouk
Farouk
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Barry wrote:
“”Putin should not think he will simply have a stroll in the park.””

At the latter part of last year pictures emerged of Russian armour being fitted with roof armour in which to mitigate top attacks from sysytems such as Javelin . It appears Moscow has taken note
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/43273/russian-t-80-tank-with-improvised-anti-drone-armor-reportedly-appears-in-crimea

JohninMK
JohninMK
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

I would draw your attention to the rather successful Russian moves just taking place in one of those stans.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
3 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Thank you. I am sure you are accurately reflecting the views of the Kremlin. Piling up bodies of gunned down civilians is what well run totalitarian dictatorships do best. I was thinking more of the long term consequences.

Porky the Pig
Porky the Pig
2 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Well said, Barry!!

JohninMK
JohninMK
3 months ago
Reply to  dave12

You put very well the reason why Russia is highly unlikely to do more in Ukraine than is necessary to defend Donbas if it is attacked. As a byproduct that might involve the destruction of the Nazi oriented Azoz groups as well as much of Ukraine’s military infrastructure. By using stand-off weapons but there would be little need for many Russian soldiers to cross the border.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
3 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

The illegal occupation of Donbas is not being attacked but I dare say Putin could rustle up a casus belli.

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Ah the good old Ukrainians are Nazis. You can’t beat the golden oldies.

dave12
dave12
3 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Yet Russia excels in the far Right movement which Putin promotes ,who are you trying to kid Ivan , the funny thing is though Stalin killed more Russians than Hitler.

Meirion x
Meirion x
3 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Looking for Nazi’s again I see? So go to Eastern Germany then, a by product of Communism!

Porky the Pig
Porky the Pig
2 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Dave12-Some excellent points! Yes… Just like the other”breakaway” former Soviet -occupied countries, Ukraine sees no future in the archaic, autocratic regime of Sovietism.Ever since Ukraine became exposed to the West, there has been no turning back.The flow of news media, the arrival of Western products, the taste of freedom, the endless possibilities of capitalism..Ukrainians will NEVER go back to worn-out, dingy, mindless Communism. Putin is an old Commie fanatic who is as out-dated as corduroy in his thinking. He just can’t get over the fact that -yes-the USSR is GONE.He somehow thinks that he is going to bring back that… Read more »

BB85
BB85
3 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

The Japanese weren’t put off invading the US by its military but because ‘there is a rifle behind every blade of grass’. The US has handed Ukraine thousands of Javelin anti tank missiles. In a head on clash of course Russia would win but if Ukraine is willing to mount a dispersed gorilla war they would kill 1,000s of Russian soldiers which Putin would struggle to justify.

Last edited 3 months ago by BB85
Porky the Pig
Porky the Pig
2 months ago
Reply to  BB85

There are ALREADY protests in Muskie-but their Commie press won’t allow the protests to be published!!

Emjay
Emjay
3 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

The British foreign Secretary is Liz Truss i.e. “her” civil servants…………. 😉

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Foreign Sec is a female Daniel!
But I agree your main point. The Global Firepower Index, comparing Russia vs Ukraine shows the uneven contest.
https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-comparison-detail.php?country1=ukraine&country2=russia

Jack
Jack
3 months ago

Still writing cheques that our *ss can’t cash, SMH.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

as well as support in areas such as cyber-security and other services.”

I think this is where we will provide most valued support, as I don’t see much actual hardware supplied.

Providing certain intelligence on Russia’s military movements the moment they make them would help Ukraine, though I do wonder how much we would share given the sensitivity of our capabilities?

Farouk
Farouk
3 months ago

Dan,
you might like this free internet copy of the Ukrainian defense review its a far decent read, but page 12 to 15 is a chapter on how they see things,

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Cheers mate, will have a butchers.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Crikey! That is in depth!

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Very very interesting mate.

Farouk
Farouk
3 months ago

Exactly what equipment has the UK handed over, as Lithuania started sending ammunition the Ukraine in 2016 that initial shipment consisted of 150 tons of ammunition mostly 5.45-caliber cartridges for Kalashnikov AK-47 s. This was followed by over 100 tons of ammunition, mortars, and thousands of rifles. Also in 2016, Lithuania sent 146 heavy machine guns to Ukraine, as recorded in the United Nations Register for Conventional Arms. Of these 146 weapons, 60 were KPVT 14.5mm heavy machine guns (which are often fitted in the ubiquitous BTR-80), and 86 were DShK 12.7mm heavy machine guns. In November 2017, the Lithuanian… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Farouk
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Nice summery mate. Cheers.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Very good summary.

Wouldn’t rule out that thing were supplied to Lithuania and then loaned to Ukraine purely for test purposes you understand?

Unless Putin wants a long drawn out bloody mess he would do well to avoid Ukraine.

My guess is that if Russia did invade NATO would probably hit EW and cyber warfare pretty hard. This would be highly embarrassing for Russia and kill its arms export business.

DRS
DRS
3 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Can we give them any old army hardware rather than selling it off/scrapping?

Farouk
Farouk
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

Personally I don’t think Kiev needs any more weapons (but saying that it did complain last month about how Berlin had been blocking arms shipments from NATO so as not to jeopardise NORD2 , a stance the Uk has mirrored.) Rather I feel that Kiev is happy to have the UK/France/US in its corner politically seeing as all 3 are UNSC members that’s a huge bonus for them. As mentioned Kiev has hods of buckshee kit, what it really needs is advanced weaponry , Drones and tac radios from Turkey, Javelin from US, Warmate loitering drones from Poland and I have… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Farouk
Meirion x
Meirion x
3 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

I sure the Ukrainians could with more AAM for Mig-29’s and SU-27’s?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

Uraine has bought AT-105 Saxons from the UK.
I am sure we can give them lots of old British army kit (FV430/Bulldog, Scimitar, Warrrior, AS90) but first just need to jolly along their replacements in British service.

JohninMK
JohninMK
3 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

On top of that which you describe, it looks as if over the past 5-6 years Ukraine has stripped most of the ex WP countries of much of their ex Soviet weapons but especially munitions. The later due to, as I understand it, the plants in Ukraine manufacturing artillery shells being in Donbas, along with much of its heavy industry. During that time all of Ukraine’s own munitions has been used up. Even now there are complaints of shortages.

dave12
dave12
3 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Yet the Ukraine has the only dock yard big enough to build , er a Russian aircraft carrier lol , it did not go well with the Russian floating docks keeping old smoky afloat did it lol.

JohninMK
JohninMK
3 months ago
Reply to  dave12

She was a Soviet not Russian carrier when she was built. The dockyard is basically full of scrap now. A rather larger new drydock is under construction up north that will suit the Northern Fleet rather well. I have heard rumours that the first important trip away from the Barents for the Admiral Kuznetsov, accompanied by the renovated Admiral Nakhimov carrying Mr P, will be to the 2024 Normandy celebrations. That would be a sight.

dave12
dave12
3 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Soviet not Russian? are you now diminishing Russias responsibility for the USSR it was still kremlin Run and that was the nucleus of it all .Cant see Kuznetsov making it fully in 2024 to many cracks to paint over especially after that bad fire.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
3 months ago

Good, robust helicopters them mi-8s are they all made in Russia or does Ukraine manufacture there own?

Farouk
Farouk
3 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Moscow spread out its military industry across the USSR, resulting in no one country (Other than Russia) could be capable of building a complete system. So for example the Su25 was built in Georgia, yet the engines it used were built in Zaporizhzhia, in the Ukraine, the same engine was also used for the Mig 21. The Ukraine was where the USSR decided to build its heavy lift aircraft, but as mentioned they depended on parts from Russia to complete them. Funny enough the Ukraine’s expertise made the Motor Sich company a target for china (which has issues with engines),… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
3 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Thank you for the informative answer, I take it the Soviets took the dispersal of the heavy industries seriously. As per the experiences during ww2 would’ve highlighted the vulnerability to airpower for single site factories to be knocked out of the war. Good news they can manufacture some helicopters now. When you look at the other materials Ukraine can manufacture there is some impressive kit coming through.

Patrick
Patrick
3 months ago

The only way the UK could ensure the defence of Ukraine is by putting them under the nuclear umbrella.

Oleg
Oleg
2 months ago

we will defend ourselves with or without anyone’s help
greetings from Ukraine

Porky the Pig
Porky the Pig
2 months ago
Reply to  Oleg

God bless the Ukrainian people!