‘Our support to their fight against Russian aggression goes from strength to strength’ says Wallace on visit to Ukraine

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Image of the Secretary of State for Defence, The Rt Hon Ben Wallace (right), seen here with Ukraine’s Minister of Defence, Oleksii Yuriyovych Reznikov (left). Photographer: Sgt Jimmy Wise - UK MOD Crown Copyright 2022

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace travelled to Ukraine this week for high level talks with his counterpart about the UK’s continued support amid Russia’s brutal invasion.

The Defence Secretary met with Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov to discuss the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s ongoing offensive to recapture and liberate territory seized in Putin’s illegal war.

They spoke about how UK equipment has been brought to bear on the battlefield, along with the effectiveness of soldiers trained by the UK and other partners.

The pair also talked about the next steps in the war as Ukraine battles to free itself from Russia’s occupation, and what further support the UK can provide.

Image of the Secretary of State for Defence, The Rt Hon Ben Wallace (left), seen here with Ukraine’s Minister of Defence, Oleksii Yuriyovych Reznikov (right). Photographer: Sgt Jimmy Wise. UK MOD Crown Copyright 2022. MOD News Licence.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

I was delighted to have visited my good friend Oleksii Reznikov in Kyiv this week to discuss more military aid and help to Ukraine.

Our support to their fight against Russian aggression goes from strength to strength and will continue all through 2023 and beyond.

The visit came in the same week as Russia orchestrated sham referenda in the Ukrainian regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk ahead of a plan to illegally annex them, while the Ukrainian offensive continues to take back territory in the north-east of the country.

The UK is one of the leading donors of military aid to Ukraine, committing £2.3 billion in 2022 – second only to the US – and the PM last week announced that this amount would be matched or exceeded in 2023.

Just weeks before the Defence Secretary’s visit, the UK committed to donating more than 120 logistics vehicles in the latest tranche of gifted military equipment.

The UK has also trained more than 27,000 members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine since 2015, including thousands of new recruits in the UK this year, with help from allies and partners.

The training teaches troops key skills such as weapons handling, first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics, vehicle-mounted operations and trench and urban warfare, which will give them a crucial edge on the battlefield.

Following Putin’s speech yesterday where he confirmed plans to annex regions of Ukraine under occupation from Moscow, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson who has been a leading force in the fight against Russia’s illegal war said:

“Vladimir Putin your speech is a fraud and a disgrace. The world must never accept your sham referendums or your cruel and illegal attempt to colonise Ukraine. We stand with the people of Ukraine and will support them without flinching until their country is whole and free.”

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