UK military aid 'massively' boosted Ukraine’s defence against Putin

The UK Government has continued to provide an increasing package of military aid to Ukraine, in line with the commitments of President Zelensky’s other NATO allies. Supplies of advanced Western weapons have been praised for fending off the possibility of an early Russian victory. The UK has made significant efforts to adapt to Ukraine’s military needs, moving to quickly negotiate new provisions that matched Kyiv’s demands. Dr Patrick Bury, a senior conflict analyst, spoke to to explore how international military aid had impacted the timeline of the conflict in Ukraine.

Dr Bury, a senior lecturer in security at the University of Bath, said that Britain’s military aid had helped Ukraine “massively, in numerous ways.”

He continued: “If you remember, at the start it was, first of all, get them javelins and stingers and other anti-tank weapons and that stopped the advance.

“It allowed the Ukrainians to adopt a mobile defence against Russian armoured columns which were lacking infantry and therefore easier to pick off so that made a big difference.”

In April, mere weeks into the invasion of Ukraine, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced an additional £100 million in military support to Kyiv.

The new provisions recognised the demand for anti-tank weapons, having pledged to provide more than 800 anti-tank missiles and an increased number of javelin anti-tank systems, among other supplies.

Dr Bury continued: “Then it switched to artillery and the West was getting them the howitzers in, especially there was emphasis on the shoot and scoot howitzers like the French caesar platform.”

As the conflict continued to develop, the UK Ministry of Defence announced a further drawdown of military aid to Ukraine.

In July, a fresh package of UK support was announced which included more than 20 M109 155mm self-propelled guns, an American model of howitzer. The bolstered aid provision also included 36 L119 105mm artillery guns, a form of towed howitzer designed by the British military.

At the time, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The scale and range of equipment we are providing demonstrates the strength of our resolve. Together with our international partners, we will ensure Ukraine has the tools to defend their country from Putin’s illegal invasion.”

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