UK to send helicopters to Ukraine for the first time since the war began

23 November 2022, 07:57

Three sea king helicopters are being sent from the UK to Ukraine
Three sea king helicopters are being sent from the UK to Ukraine. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

The Ministry of Defence has announced it will send helicopters to Ukraine for the first time since the war began.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said it will be the first time piloted aircraft would be sent to the war-torn nation since Russia's invasion.

Three former Sea King helicopters will be provided and the first has already arrived in Ukraine.

Mr Wallace, who made the announcement from Oslo where he is meeting allies to discuss ongoing military support for Kyiv, added that the UK will also send an additional 10,000 artillery rounds.

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It comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak used a visit to the Ukrainian capital to set out a new £50m package of defence aid which included 125 anti-aircraft guns and equipment to counter Iranian-supplied drones.

Mr Sunak promised the UK will keep supporting Ukraine, on his first visit to the country since taking office in October.

He pledged that UK support for Ukraine in the fight against Russia will remain steadfast, following in the footsteps of predecessors Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, and promised Ukraine a £50 million package of defence aid during his visit to Kyiv.

Mr Sunak said: "Britain knows what it means to fight for freedom. We are with you all the way."

A Number 10 spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister is in Ukraine today for his first visit to Kyiv to meet President Zelensky and confirm continued UK support."

The Prime Minister, who has spoken to Mr Zelensky on more than one occasion since entering Downing Street, used his appearance at the G20 this week to join with allies and other Western leaders to condemn Vladimir Putin's invasion.

Mr Sunak said it was "deeply humbling" to be in Kyiv.

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