Following a series of Russian missile strikes, Ukraine’s Nato-led allies have announced the delivery of upgraded air defense systems to Kyiv. Missiles and radars are among the weapons pledged by the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and the Netherlands. The United States previously made a similar vow. One German high-tech system is already in Ukraine.
The commitments come as Ukraine’s friends from 50 countries gather in Brussels at Nato headquarters.
On Thursday morning, Russian shelling pounded the southern city of Mykolaiv, hours later, in an apparent response to the meeting.
Ukraine has had a particularly intensive week, with more than 100 missiles launched on Monday and Tuesday, targeting energy infrastructure as well as non-military targets such as a children’s playground.
“Russia’s new indiscriminate assaults on civilian areas in Ukraine need additional support for those defending their country,” said Defense Secretary Ben Wallace. The United Kingdom will contribute air defense missiles as well as hundreds of aerial drones to help Ukraine’s intelligence and logistics capabilities. In addition to the 64 previously delivered, it will give 18 howitzer artillery pieces.
France, according to French President Emmanuel Macron, will give Ukraine air defense systems. However, he stated that their primary role will be to safeguard the populace from drones.
The Netherlands claimed it would deploy air defense missiles worth €15 million (£13 million; $14.5 million).
Canada has given more than C$47 million ($34 million; £31 million) in military supplies, including satellite communications and drone cameras.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s military claimed earlier on Wednesday that the first of several “state-of-the-art IRIS-T SLMs” had been delivered to the country from Germany. It stated that the air defence system will contribute to protecting the country “from terror.”
What Russia is saying
Russia has frequently warned Ukraine’s allies against delivering advanced equipment to Kiev, claiming that doing so would make them participants in the conflict, which began on February 24.
Could this be the start of the third world war?