New UK Defence Secretary John Healey announces significant aid package to Ukraine during Odesa visit

The new UK Defence Secretary, John Healey, arrived in Odesa for a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defence Minister Rustem Umerov. Following the meeting, Healey announced that his country would deliver a new aid package to Ukraine, including more artillery guns, a quarter of a million rounds of ammunition, and nearly 100 high-precision Brimstone missiles.

The Defence Secretary also promised to expedite the delivery of military assistance to Ukraine over the next 100 days.

During the visit, which coincided with Ukraine’s annual Navy Day celebrations, the Defence Secretary reaffirmed that the new government in Westminster will bolster its unwavering support for Ukraine.

"There may have been a change in government, but the UK stands united in its support for Ukraine. As the new Defence Secretary, I guarantee we will enhance Britain's support by increasing deliveries of vital military aid. This government is steadfast in its commitment to continue providing military assistance and will stand shoulder to shoulder with our Ukrainian friends for as long as it takes," John Healey said, emphasising that his country stands with the Ukrainian people in firmly opposing Russian aggression and holding Putin accountable for his war crimes.

Upon assuming office, the Defence Secretary immediately requested additional support for Ukraine, which was ready and tailored to meet its battlefield needs against Russia.

This new aid package includes: a quarter of a million .50 calibre ammunition; 90 Brimstone anti-tank missiles; 50 small military boats to support riverine and coastal operations; 40 demining vehicles; 10 AS-90 artillery guns; 61 bulldozers to assist in creating defensive positions; and support for the previously supplied AS-90s, including 32 new barrels and critical spare parts, which will help Ukraine fire an additional 60,000 155-mm shells.

In April of this year, the UK announced the largest military aid package in its history for Ukraine, including 400 vehicles, 1600 strike and air defence missiles, including additional long-range precision-guided Storm Shadow missiles, four million rounds of ammunition, and 60 boats, among them raiding vessels.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff, reminded that Russia recently passed the threshold of 500,000 killed or wounded, which serves as a stark reminder of how dire this war has turned out for Russia.

"Over the past year, with the UK's help, Ukraine expelled the Russian navy from Crimea and reopened the Black Sea for exports. The fight on land is much tougher, but the future of Ukraine as a sovereign state is unquestionable. A free and democratic Ukraine, full of promise and hope, sharply contrasts with Russia's trajectory of decline and deterioration and an increasingly authoritarian future under Putin’s rule," the Admiral noted.

  War in Ukraine, UK, John Healey