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UK to Provide an Additional $1.2 Billion of Military Aid to Ukraine

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson | Image by Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters

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The UK will provide another £1 billion (1 billion British pounds, or $1.2 billion USD) of military aid to Ukraine, the British government announced on Wednesday, almost doubling its support for the war against Russia.

The funds will strengthen Ukrainian defense systems, including air defense units, drones, and new electronic combat equipment. The aid will also pay for thousands of articles of gear for Ukrainian soldiers.

Military support given to Ukraine by the UK now totals £2.3 billion, in addition to the £1.5 billion in humanitarian and financial aid the UK has already sent.

“UK weapons, equipment, and training are transforming Ukraine’s defenses against this onslaught. And we will continue to stand squarely behind the Ukrainian people to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

The new support package, the government said, “represents the first step in enabling Ukraine to go beyond their valiant defense against the illegal Russian invasion to mounting offensive operations against Russian ground forces in order to restore Ukrainian sovereignty.”

At the NATO summit in Spain this week, Johnson said the “cost of freedom is always worth paying for.”

The British prime minister also vowed to raise defense spending to 2.5% of GDP.

The pledge of more military aid follows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urging NATO members to increase support for his country to fight the Russian incursion. He also said the cost of the war was about $5 billion (£4.12 billion) per month.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the UK’s commitment to Ukraine is “real and constant.”

“This military assistance will help [the Ukrainians] intensify their fight against Russian aggression and ensure they have the defense capabilities they need,” he said.

Ukrainian troops have also begun training in Britain following Johnson’s offer to train up to 10,000 soldiers every 120 days.

As talks of the Russian invasion dominated the recent NATO summit, alliance leaders approved plans to modernize Ukraine’s military forces, saying the organization fully supported Ukrainians’ “heroic defense of their country.”

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