Aletho News


UK dispatches troop carriers to Ukraine


Press TV – February 14, 2015

Britain has delivered a number of troop transporters to Ukraine as fighting rages on unabated in the eastern parts of the former Soviet country despite a peace deal.

Ukrainian media reported on Friday that 20 British Saxon armored vehicles were handed in to Kiev, with another 55 expected to arrive soon.

The UK’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that the vehicles were transferred by a private firm under a 2013 deal with the eastern European country.

The troop carriers were first used by the MoD in the 1980s, but went out of service some three years ago, according to an MoD spokesperson.

The spokesperson stressed that the British government has been supplying “non-lethal assistance” to the Ukrainian army since the beginning of the crisis in the country.

“There has been no change to this and we have not provided lethal assistance. These vehicles were provided unarmed under a commercial contract dating 2013 by a private company,” the spokesperson added.

Earlier this week, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also noted that London was keeping under review a decision not to arm Ukraine, adding it could not allow the Ukrainian army to collapse.

This is while Russia has repeatedly criticized plans by Western countries to supply weapons to Ukraine, saying it would only aggravate the situation in the country’s restive provinces.

The UK’s decision to send troop carriers to Ukraine came one day after Kiev reached a ceasefire agreement with pro-Moscow forces operating in the country’s volatile east following marathon peace talks in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, with leaders of Russia, Germany and France.

The mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia activists and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence protests there in mid-April 2014.

More than 5,500 people have died and some 12,200 wounded in the conflict, the UN says. Around 1.5 million people have been also forced from their homes over the past months of turmoil.

February 14, 2015 - Posted by | Militarism | ,

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