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UK defense secretary calls on world to provide further air defenses to Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek December 30, 2023 5:45 PM 2 min read
UK Defense Minister Grant Shapps speaks during a press conference in central London on Dec. 11, 2023. (Illustrative purposes only) (Lucy North/PA Images via Getty Images)
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The world should follow the U.K.'s example and reinforce Ukraine's air defenses, U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said on Dec. 30, only a day after pledging hundreds of British anti-air missiles to Kyiv.

London announced its latest air defense support package after a wave of Russian attacks on Dec. 29 killed at least 39 people and injured over 160 in multiple regions of Ukraine.

"Ukraine cannot be left to defend itself alone from a despot like (Vladimir) Putin. So now is the time to ramp up our support," Shapps wrote on the social media platform X.

"Yesterday, the U.K. started on that mission by bringing forward more support for air defense."

The U.K. defense chief added that "the world must now follow suit because getting Ukraine what it needs to win will save us all expense and provide liberty for everyone in the long run."

Expecting intensified Russian attacks against Ukraine's cities and infrastructure during the winter, Kyiv has long appealed to its allies for further air defense support.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine's air defense capabilities are getting stronger thanks to allied supplies, and additional air defense systems are expected already this winter.

The president noted that Germany should soon provide another Patriot air defense system in addition to the three Ukraine received from Berlin and Washington in 2023.

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Ukraine had high hopes for 2023. Many dreamed the war would end with Ukraine’s victory and that they would finally be able to visit liberated Crimea after nine years of Russian occupation. But Russia’s brutal attacks against civilian infrastructure continued, and with them, the death toll has cont…

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