Ever since Russia’s tanks rolled into Ukraine in February 2022, Britain has stood alongside President Zelensky, providing support through weapons and aid.
As the second largest donor after the United States, the UK has committed £4.6 billion in military assistance to Ukraine so far. The UK is also hosting a training programme, Operation Interflex to train 30,000 new and existing Ukrainian personnel by the end of 2023.
The UK has committed to training Ukrainian fast jet pilots but stopped short of providing combat fighter aircraft, at least in the short term. However, the UK has stopped short of supplying long-range precision strike missiles.
Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko has said the UK is “brilliant as a strategic partner” and has provided a “very strong shoulder for Ukraine to lean on” since the Russian invasion.
As the conflict in Ukraine has evolved, so has the types of weaponry being provided. Ukraine and its allies have been preparing for an expected spring offensive. The British military has focused on giving Ukraine the capability to both defend their territory and to enable them to retake ground currently under Russian control. There are, however, fears that the provision of increasingly more sophisticated weaponry could escalate the conflict.