Amid worries of a new Russian invasion, a squad of roughly 30 elite British troops has arrived in Ukraine to assist in the training of the Ukrainian armed forces on new anti-tank weapons supplied by the UK.
Members of the Ranger Regiment, which is part of the army’s newly formed Special Operations Brigade, were flown out aboard military jets that also delivered 2,000 anti-tank missile launchers to the country this week, Sky News reported.
British surveillance aircraft have also been sighted as part of the UK’s subtle but noticeable build-up of military support for Ukraine.
The Royal Air Force C-17 transport planes travelling back and forth between the UK and Ukraine have been plotted using open source flight-tracking software.
According to Sky News, “many” flights have taken place since Monday.
The UK has delivered 2,000 anti-tank missile launchers in the airlift, according to the Daily Mail.
On Monday, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Parliament that the UK had decided to supply Ukraine with a batch of light-armour defensive weapons systems, and that a “small number” of UK staff will travel to the country to provide initial training.
The next day, the UK minister for armed forces, James Heappey, said that “thousands” of such weapons had been airlifted to Ukraine.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the transfer of weapons and instructors to Ukraine by the UK and Canada confirms Russia’s suspicions that the West has been preparing a provocation on the Ukrainian territory.
Western countries have recently accused Russia of preparing for invasion by building up its troops along its border with Ukraine.
Moscow, on the other hand, has rejected the charges and stated that it has no plans to undertake a military action against any country.
The claims are also seen by Russia as a justification for NATO military assets to be stationed near its borders.