UK sends helicopters to Ukraine to boost defences amid Russia invasion

A Royal Navy Sea King helicopter (Picture: A Oxley)

Britain is sending helicopters to Ukraine for the first time, defence secretary Ben Wallace has announced.

Three former military Sea Kings will be supplied – with one already in Ukraine – in an escalation of support for Kyiv.

They are the first piloted aircraft to be sent by the UK since the Russian invasion began in February.

Mr Wallace also said an extra 10,000 artillery rounds are being sent to help Ukraine secure the territory it has recaptured from Vladimir Putin’s invading forces in recent weeks.

The fresh support comes after Rishi Sunak announced £50million more in defence aid at the weekend.

During a visit to Norway, Mr Wallace said: ‘Our support for Ukraine is unwavering. These additional artillery rounds will help Ukraine to secure the land it has reclaimed from Russia.’

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The Royal Navy provided six weeks’ training on Sea Kings in the UK for Ukraine’s armed forces and engineers, the Ministry of Defence said.

It follows a commitment to provide 1,000 surface-to-air missiles and 125 anti-aircraft guns.

Mr Wallace is in Norway meeting allied defence ministers on the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

Meanwhile, former PM Boris Johnson said France was in denial ‘right up until the last moment’ when Russian forces crossed the border.

He added Germany wanted Ukraine to quickly lose, rather than have a long war, for ‘all sorts of sound economic reasons’.

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