British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made an unannounced visit to Kiev on Saturday, during which he pledged 120 armored vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s regime. Johnson authorized a separate military aid package the day before, and also promised Ukraine $500 million in World Bank loans.
“Today I met my friend President Zelensky in Kiev as a show of our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine,” Johnson tweeted, shortly after news of his unannounced trip to the Ukrainian capital broke. “We’re setting out a new package of financial and military aid which is a testament of our commitment to his country’s struggle against Russia’s barbaric campaign,” he added.
According to Downing Street, Britain will supply Zelensky’s forces with 120 armored vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems. This tranche of military equipment is in addition to a £100 million ($130 million) military aid package announced on Friday, which includes Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, 800 NLAW anti-tank missiles, and “high-tech loitering munitions,” commonly known as ‘suicide drones.’
Johnson has stood out as one of the most eager pro-Ukrainian leaders in the West since Russia launched its military offensive in February. London has already sent more than 4,000 NLAW missiles to Ukraine and has convened a gathering of donors to convince its allies to step up their arms supplies. The UK has also sanctioned Russia extensively and cut off its own supply of Russian oil and gas in response to the conflict.