British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps revealed for the first time plans to send forces from his country’s army to Ukraine as part of a training program, while a high-ranking Russian official stated that his country would work to annex new areas.
In an interview with the Telegraph newspaper published on Saturday evening, Shapps said he had held talks with army chiefs about moving a formal British-led training program to Ukraine rather than relying on British bases and those of other NATO members.
The British Defense Secretary called on more national defense companies to establish factories in Ukraine.
After his trip to Kiev last week, Shapps also revealed that he had spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about the possibility of the British Navy playing a role in defending merchant ships from Russian attacks in the Black Sea.
Since the beginning of the Russian war in Ukraine in February 2022, Britain has outperformed the rest of the European countries in providing financial and military support to Kiev.
According to London’s strategic vision, Russia is the greatest threat to British national security.
On the Russian side, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the National Security Council, confirmed that Russia will control additional territory in Ukraine.
Medvedev, the former president of Russia, added that the special military operation in Ukraine would continue until what he described as the Nazi regime in Kiev was completely annihilated, as he put it.
Medvedev continued in a post on Telegram that “victory will be ours, and new regions will join Russia”.
About 3 weeks ago, local elections were held in 4 Ukrainian provinces that Russia annexed in September 2022, and the authorities announced the victory of the ruling “United Russia” party.
The elections were held under exceptional circumstances due to the continuing battles between Russian and Ukrainian forces and the fact that parts of these districts remained under the control of Ukrainian forces.
On the other hand, CNN quoted Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal that Kiev plans to spend $1.5 billion on arms production in 2024, a 7-fold increase over 2022.
The Ukrainian President also stated that his country’s priority now is to develop defense production using modern technologies, and to produce missiles and drones in cooperation with international companies.
He added that he wanted to transform the defense sector into a major military hub by partnering with Western arms manufacturers to increase the supply of weapons required to support Kiev’s counterattack on Russia.
The Ukrainian President and Prime Minister’s statements came during a defense industries forum in Kiev with the participation of 165 international companies.
Kiev began its counterattack in early June to try to regain the lands seized by Russia, which still controls about 18% of Ukrainian territory.
Kiev announced progress in several directions and the liberation of more than 10 villages, but it hasn’t yet been able to recover any major cities.
In this context, the Ukrainian army said, on Saturday, that its forces targeted Russian military equipment and vehicles with drones near the city of Solidar in the east of the country.
He added that he targeted four Russian military vehicles and two fortified sites – as he described them – near Solidar, which the Russian army announced its control of months ago.
On the other hand, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that its defenses responded to a Ukrainian attack with 9 Uragan missiles in the airspace of Belgorod Province near the Ukrainian border, stressing that the air defense systems responded to the Ukrainian missiles and completely destroyed them.