Ukraine crisis: How will the UK help Ukraine fight Russia if Vladimir Putin launches a full-scale invasion? | UK News

Boris Johnson has made it clear the UK will not send troops to Ukraine if Russia launches a full-scale invasion, but there are other ways to help the European ally.

Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch military operations in Ukraine will intensify pressure on the prime minister to go further in his actions than he has done so far with sanctions.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ condemnation was swift, saying the UK stands with Ukraine and will work with our international partners to respond to this “terrible act of aggression”.

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Why did the UK say it would not send troops?

The British government has made it clear that its response will not involve British combat forces in Ukraine, as it is not part of NATO, but they have been training Ukrainian forces for years.

The training only stopped a few days ago as tensions with Russia grew further.

Despite this, the UK and other allies have increased the number of troops in NATO countries surrounding Ukraine.

What weapons has the UK already sent to Ukrainian forces?

As Russian forces have massed on the border in recent weeks, the UK has responded by sending Ukraine “self-defence” weapons.

These include anti-tank missiles – one is the Javelin anti-tank guided missile which uses infrared guidance to hit tanks from above and can be used against buildings and helicopters.

Ukrainian forces tested anti-tank missiles during training as Russia sent tanks over the border. Photo: Ukrainian Armed Forces

The other is the Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW), developed by the UK and Sweden, which is shoulder-launched and can be fired from confined spaces.

The UK also provides intelligence to Ukraine, as do other NATO members.

The United States and the United Kingdom are also helping Ukraine deal with Russian cyberattacks, which could lead to the death of many Ukrainians if key infrastructure is taken over by Moscow.

But they are unlikely to get involved in cyber warfare, which would be considered direct involvement.

A “shopping list” of weapons

Professor Malcolm Chalmers, deputy chief executive of leading defense think tank RUSI (Royal United Services Institute), said Ukraine would likely give NATO “a shopping list” and there would likely be a discussion of who could provide what.

The defense expert, who held meetings in Moscow with Russian officials last week, said one of the additional options the UK could offer are intelligence monitoring reports.

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Who is who in the Russian-Ukrainian crisis?

He said the UK would likely fly planes over neighboring countries, such as Poland, where they can see Ukraine but will not be directly involved in the conflict.

“Where it gets difficult and starts to move into the gray area between being directly involved or not is when you start talking about special forces or operations in Ukraine – that’s a line that I think the government would be quite reluctant to cross, but will be on the agenda,” he said.

Professor Chalmers said he did not believe the UK would send large equipment as Russia’s superior force would quickly destroy it and Ukrainian forces would need training in how to use and use it. ‘maintain.

But he said the drones could be useful – although Turkey is already supplying them to Ukraine.

Ukraine most likely already has large stocks of small arms such as basic rifles and AK-47s, as Kiev has been preparing for some time, Professor Chalmers added.

Russia launches ballistic missiles in nuclear exercises
Russia launched ballistic missiles as part of nuclear exercises

Will NATO aid prevent Russia from taking control of Ukraine?

NATO allies have pledged to prevent Moscow from imposing a puppet regime on Ukraine only to claim it as its own.

But, according to Professor Chalmers, Russia ultimately has one of the most capable armies in the world and Ukraine cannot match it, despite the help of NATO.

“The two sides are very poorly matched, Russia has a massive superiority in firepower and the Ukrainians are relatively weak,” he said.

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He said there would likely be an initial phase where Russian and Ukrainian troops would fight on the ground in Donbass and potentially around Kyiv, but Russia would take control in the air very quickly.

“It will quite quickly move beyond this conventional campaign which will look more like us fighting the Taliban – very different terrain and people, but it will look more like an insurgency against an occupying army,” he said. he declares.

“As we saw in Afghanistan, the most sophisticated army in the world can be defeated by determined but poorly armed resistance.

“Where the Ukrainians have an advantage is that they are fighting for their own territory and all that massive firepower is going to be difficult to use as an occupying force, as NATO discovered in Afghanistan.

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Prime Minister announces sanctions against Russia

“You can have all the technology you want, but it’s very difficult to control a country if even a significant minority is ready to fight – and I think they will in Ukraine.

“We can help them run a very asymmetrical campaign but if they go into an insurgency phase, the Ukrainians will be defeated very quickly.”

Christi C. Elwood