Ukraine war: UK to provide 10k drones to Ukraine as dismissed commander to become new ambassador

A new released Sea Baby drone "Avdiivka" rides on the water during the presentation by Ukraine's Security Service in Kyiv region, Ukraine, on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.
A new released Sea Baby drone "Avdiivka" rides on the water during the presentation by Ukraine's Security Service in Kyiv region, Ukraine, on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. Copyright AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka
Copyright AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka
By Euronews with AP
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

UK to provide 10,000 drones to Ukraine

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The British government said on Thursday that it will provide 10,000 drones to Ukraine in its continued fight against the Russian invasion.

The announcement was made by Defence Secretary Grant Shapps during a visit to Kyiv with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The pledge corresponds to a new investment of £125 million (€146.3 million) on top of £200 million (€234.2 million) which had been previously committed to drones.

The weaponry delivered will include 1,000 one-way attack drones and models that target ships.

“Ukraine’s Armed Forces are using UK donated weapons to unprecedented effect, to help lay waste to nearly 30% of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet,” Shapps said.

Zelenskyy also announced on Thursday that dismissed Ukrainian commander Valerii Zaluzhnyi will become Kyiv's new ambassador to London.

“Our alliance with Britain should only strengthen,” Zelenskyy said.

The president removed Zaluzhnyi from his top role as commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian military as part of a shake-up aimed at reigniting momentum in the conflict, which many have seen as stalling since last summer.

Zelenskyy visits Turkey

The Ukrainian president is set to visit Turkey on Friday, meeting with his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The two leaders are expected to discuss the conflict in Ukraine, the Black Sea Grain Initiative - a deal which Turkey helped broker - and bilateral relations.

New decree for Ukrainian conscripts

Zelenskyy has issued a decree calling for conscripts who have been serving in the now over two-year war against Russia to be discharged into the reserves within the next two months.

The conscripts won’t be called up again for 12 months.

Biden cites Ukraine in State of the Union

In his marquee State of the Union address last night, Joe Biden made an argument that democracy at home in the US is threatened like no time since the Civil War – signalling a clear line of attack he will use against Donald Trump in this year's election while also insisting that aid must be passed to assist Ukraine.

He criticised Trump, whom he referred to only as “my predecessor”, for his assertion that Russian President Vladimir Putin can “do whatever the hell he wants” with respect to NATO allies, and he implored Congress to pass additional aid for Ukraine.

Speaking with a vigour that his supporters have said has been lacking, Biden set up a contrast between his internationalist view of the world and Trump's increasingly isolationist leaning.

Other major NATO countries have increasingly focused on ways to shore up the alliance's support for Ukraine in case Trump is re-elected and tanks the US's support for the counteroffensive.

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