Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seeking to form a “jets coalition” after meeting with UK PM Rishi Sunak, who promised to provide hundreds of new long-range attack drones to Ukraine.
Zelenskyy stressed the importance of controlling the skies and hinted at the possibility of important decisions being made soon. Sunak also announced that the UK would begin training Ukrainian pilots to use Western fighter jets. The discussions included long-term security arrangements from allied countries for Ukraine as its troops prepare for a counteroffensive against Russia’s invading forces.
The UK will also provide hundreds of air defence missiles and further unmanned aerial systems, including long-range attack drones with a range of over 200km. The training for Ukrainian pilots will begin this summer, according to Downing Street. Zelenskyy expressed gratitude for the support provided by the UK government, while the Kremlin expressed an “extremely negative view” of the aid packages.
Ukraine’s allies in the EU, such as Germany and France, have also pledged their support with military aid worth billions of euros. The battle for Bakhmut continues to inflict heavy losses on both sides, with neither side able to take full control of the city despite months of fighting.