The UK will send armoured vehicles to Ukraine for the first time as part of a new £100m package of military aid, as President Zelenskyy warns against “any delay” in offering further weapons and equipment.
President Zelenskyy has demanded a “firm global response” as he blamed Russia for an attack near a rail station that killed at least 50 people – with the UK set to provide fresh military aid.
Britain will send armoured vehicles to Ukraine for the first time as part of a new £100m package, as Mr Zelenskyy warned against “any delay” in offering further weapons.
Speaking in his nightly video after what he called a “war crime” near Kramatorsk station, he said a “delay in providing weapons to Ukraine, any refusals, can only mean the politicians in question want to help the Russian leadership more than us”.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky News the Ukrainian military would get Mastiff heavily armoured patrol vehicles, which weigh 23 tonnes and carry eight troops and two crew.
It is understood they will be stripped of sensitive equipment and could help mount offensive operations close to Russian lines.
The Mastiff was designed to withstand Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) during the Afghan war.
Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, 800 anti-tank missiles, helmets, and night vision goggles will be included in the consignment, in addition to 200,000 items already distributed.
Defence secretary says support will continue
Speaking at a NATO ceremony in Romania, Mr Wallace refused to be drawn on whether the UK would commit anti-ship missiles such as the Harpoon, as requested by President Zelenskyy.
Mr Zelenskyy says they will help prevent Russia from consolidating its control of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast.
Mr Wallace said: “I won’t discuss different types of weapons systems. I don’t want to flag to Russians any change until they have happened.”
He added: “Our commitment is to support Ukraine to make sure they have as much help as possible to defend themselves. And if the tactics of the Russians change, what we give them will change as well.”
The defence secretary also called the Kremlin “deluded” after Sky News’s interview with Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Mr Peskov was accused of living in a “parallel universe” and peddling a “catalogue of lies” when he denied Russians had committed war crimes in Bucha.