Skip to content
Edit post

UK Energy Secretary Grant Shapps announced as new Defense Minister

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 31, 2023 1:33 PM 2 min read
MP Grant Shapps, who visited Ukraine in August 2023 as U.K. Energy Secretary, in Kyiv ahead of Ukrainian Independence Day celebrations on Aug. 24, 2023. (Grant Shapps / Twitter). 
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

U.K. Energy Secretary Grant Shapps is replacing Ben Wallace as Defense Minister, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Aug. 31.

Wallace held the position since 2019 and played a key role in Britain's response to Russia's war against Ukraine.

Shapps, who has been Energy Secretary since February 2023, said he will continue his country's "support for Ukraine in their fight against Putin’s barbaric invasion."

He visited Ukraine last week to learn about Ukrainian energy security, meeting with Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov and Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko.

He also said the visit was of personal significance as he had hosted a Ukrainian family in his home for a year following the outbreak of the full-scale invasion. He visited the kindergarten the child of the family used to attend and met the teachers.

Shapps said he was honored to be appointed Defense Minister and thanked his predecessor for his "enormous contribution."

A new Defense Minister had been anticipated since earlier in the summer when Wallace said in an interview with the Times that he planned to resign from his post.

Wallace had been U.K. Defense Minister since 2019 and played a key role in Britain's response to Russia's war on Ukraine.

In July, Wallace made an infamous remark at the NATO Summit in Vilnius that Ukraine needs to show "gratitude" to allies for providing weapons to keep receiving support.

Zelensky responded that he does not know how else should Ukraine show its thankfulness.

"Let him write to me (about) how else I should express my words of gratitude, or we could get up in the morning and express our words of gratitude to the minister," Zelensky said.

As minister, Wallace made the U.K. the first country to provide Ukraine with weapons capable of reaching targets deep into Russian-occupied territories, namely by providing Storm Shadow missiles in May 2023.

The United Kingdom spent 2.3 billion British pounds (about $2.9 billion) on defense assistance to Ukraine last year and has committed the same amount in 2023.

UK Ambassador Simmons: ‘People are waking up to understanding of Russia being colonial fascist-leaning country’
After four tumultuous and challenging years, Dame Melinda Simmons’ term as the British ambassador to Ukraine is coming to an end. Her successor Martin Harris will be arriving in September. Since Simmons, a career diplomat, arrived in Kyiv in September 2019, she has worked through the coronavirus ou…

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
10:29 PM

Georgian president appeals to Constitutional Court on law on 'foreign agents.'

Georgian President Salome Zourabishvili has filed a motion against the law on "foreign agents" to the Constitutional Court of Georgia. The bill requires organizations that receive foreign funding to be labeled as "foreign agents," mirroring repressive Russian legislation used to crack down on Kremlin critics.
9:36 PM

US prohibits Ukraine from striking deep inside Russia due to fears of war spreading.

"I think it is important to understand that we do not want to see unintended consequences of an escalation that could turn this conflict into a broader one that goes beyond Ukraine. I think this is something that we all need to consider and take very seriously," Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder said in an interview with the Voice of America.
7:30 PM

Spain says 10 more Leopard 2 tanks en route to Ukraine.

The tanks were repaired, maintained and tested at the Santa Barbara Sistemas manufacturer in the province of Seville, according to the statement. With this batch, the total number of Leopard 2A4 tanks handed over from Spain to Ukraine has reached 20.
6:34 PM

Zelensky says he 'is not afraid' of Trump's potential presidency.

Ukraine has bipartisan support and will develop relations with Washington regardless of the outcome of the presidential elections, President Volodymyr Zelensky told journalists. "If Donald Trump becomes president, we will work. I am not afraid of this," Zelensky said.
5:52 PM

Last Russian patrol ship left occupied Crimea, Ukraine's navy says.

The vessel's designation was Project 1135, Dmytro Pletenchuk, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Navy, told the Kyiv Independent. This patrol ship is not a carrier of cruise missiles, which Russia is using to attack Ukraine, but is equipped with the other weapons, he added.

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.