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UK to provide Ukraine with $600 million in winter support payments

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 5, 2023 11:33 PM 2 min read
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky during European Political Community summit in Granada, Spain Oct. 5, 2023. (JUAN MEDINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced new humanitarian aid on Oct. 5 to help Ukrainians survive the second winter of Russia's full-scale war.

According to Sunak's office, the aid allocations include a loan guarantee of 500 million pounds ($600 million) disbursed through the World Bank to ensure Kyiv can provide winter support payments to three million households.

London will also send $41 million to the United Nations and charities supplying Ukrainians with shelter and warm winter clothing, as well as provide $12 million to sustain household electricity following Russian attacks on energy infrastructure.

During the fall of 2022 and winter of 2023, Russian forces attempted to cripple Ukraine's energy network with massive strikes, leading to frequent blackouts and a lack of heating across the country. Kyiv has warned that Russia will likely attempt this strategy again next winter.

With winter approaching, is Ukraine’s energy system ready for renewed Russian attacks?
The specter of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy system looms once again as winter rapidly approaches. Last year in early October, just as Ukraine’s heating season began, Russia launched a month-long series of missile and drone attacks against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, leading to blackouts…

At the European Political Community meeting in Spain, Sunak also called on partners to supply Ukraine with new defense weapons to resist Russia's military aggression.

On the summit's sidelines, Sunak met with President Volodymyr Zelensky, discussing "necessary efforts to continue international support to Ukraine," according to Zelensky's office.

The leaders also discussed the new Black Sea corridor for civilian ships established by Ukraine's navy, which allowed Ukrainian ports to continue receiving cargo vessels for grain exports amid a Russian-imposed blockade.

Zelensky and Sunak emphasized the importance of consolidating international efforts to protect freedom of navigation in the Black Sea. They considered the possible insurance formats for ships that agree to use the temporary corridor.

According to the latest intelligence update by the U.K. Defense Ministry, Russian forces may use sea mines to strike civilian shipping targets in the Black Sea and blame Ukraine for any successful attacks.

The Russian military has blocked trade routes through the Black Sea since the collapse of the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July. At the same time, Russia has targeted Ukraine's port and grain infrastructure with repeated attacks.

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