Ukraine and the UK are about to sign a 10-year security pact. Ukraine ramps up production of drones to offset a shortfall of ammunition.
Ukraine, UK to sign 10-year security pact
Britain will use its naval expertise to help Ukraine control the Black Sea as part of a 10-year security pact to be signed in the coming weeks, The Telegraph said.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will pledge to “keep Kyiv in the fight” against Russia by providing military support focused on naval assets, as well as financial aid and intelligence sharing. It will also contain promises of a post-war security guarantee to ward off Moscow should it consider attacking again, including stepping up weapons deliveries and reimposing sanctions.
British officials have told their Ukrainian counterparts the country will focus on bolstering Kyiv’s maritime capabilities as part of the planned MoU, The Telegraph can disclose. The dossier also sets out plans for protecting post-war Ukraine, including a promise to step up weapons deliveries and financial support in case of another Russian attack.
The focus of arms deliveries will be on ensuring Ukraine’s forces become more “interoperable” with Nato to act as a long-term deterrent against future attacks. The country’s armed forces will also promise to maintain its Operation Interflex training programme as part of the deal.
On December 11, the UK and Norway announced that the two countries will co-lead a Maritime Capability Coalition to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to operate at sea.
UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps announced that Ukraine’s armed forces had “procured” the Sandown Class minehunting ships from Britain’s Royal Navy. In addition to the Sandown-class vessels, the UK-Norway maritime coalition will deliver 20 Viking Amphibious vehicles and 23 raiding craft to Ukraine.
Ukraine ramps up production of drones to offset shortfall of ammunition
Ukraine is ramping up production of drones, and is planning to produce 155mm artillery shells in Ukraine with Western companies in 2024, Deputy Defense Minister, Lieutenant General Ivan Havrylyuk said in an interview with BBC Ukraine.
“As to [the shortfall of] artillery ammunition, it will continue. So Ukraine decided to solve these issues by creating a powerful production of drones,” Havrylyuk said.
Ukraine is also increasing production of “almost all Soviet-era types” of ammunition, he said.
Ukraine will also make more artillery ammunition for the 155mm caliber used in many artillery pieces donated by western countries. Kyiv will also jointly manufacture 155mm artillery shells with western companies in Ukraine. “We’re not talking about large-scale production of 155mm shells,” Havrylyuk said.
He said he expects that next year Ukraine’s defense industry will “produce enough [ammunition] to close the gap between what [Ukraine] needs and what the allies can supply.”
Havrylyuk was part of the delegation that travelled with President Zelenskyi to the U.S. in December. He said they discussed joint production of ammunition in Ukraine with U.S. companies as part of the country’s efforts to boost its domestic production.
Next year, Ukraine plans to jointly produce missiles for Soviet-made S-300 and Buk antiaircraft systems with U.S. allies. The stock of the missiles is also dwindling.
“We understand that it is impossible to compare Russia’s and Ukraine’s resources. Russia has powerful defense industries that give it an advantage, including in personnel and weapons. We need technological advantage to prevail on the battlefield,” Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister said.
Ukraine is waiting for the supplies of long-range missiles from its allies, he added. The missiles are critical to cut off enemy supply lines and strike deep behind enemy lines.
Resettlement Processes: Challenges of War and Peace. Ukraine in Flames #548
During the 22 months of full-scale war, about 10 million Ukrainians became forced migrants and resettlers, reported by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine. 3.7 million are within Ukraine, another 6.3 million are seeking safety abroad. This is one of the largest demographic crises since World War II. Watch Ukraine in flames #548 to find out about the unity of forced resettlers inside and outside of Ukraine, how it happens and how Ukrainians abroad help Ukrainians who stayed in the country.
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- Stanislav Fedorchuk, Chairman of the Board of the “Ukrainian People’s Council of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions”
- Oleksandr Yavtushenko, Lawyer, Human Rights Defender, Vice-President of the World Organization of IDPs