The Armed Forces of Ukraine have thanked the British Air Force for its help during the last six months and said they are “grateful” for the United Kingdom’s “support and assistance”.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces made the comments while relaying British Air Force Footage and quoting the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, who said: “Six months ago, Russia launched its unprovoked and illegal war against Ukraine. Since then, the Royal Air Force Air Mobility Force has flown over 8,000 hours and over 1,000 missions, delivering humanitarian and military aid to the Ukrainians; including over 1.9 million rounds ammunition, 25,000 sets of body armour, 86,000 helmets and 5,500 anti-tank weapons.
“The Royal Air Force has also transported and contributed to the training of 4,500 Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel here in the United Kingdom, providing them with the leading-edge skills and expertise to defend their country against Russian aggression.”
The Chief of the Air Staff made the comments while visiting RAF Brize Norton, the Air Force’s largest station, in Oxfordshire, on Thursday, 1st September.
He also said: “Throughout, we have been resolute in our support for our NATO and Joint Expeditionary Force partners. Our combat and intelligence-gathering aircraft helping protect Europe’s airspace from the north of Norway all the way to the Mediterranean.
“The success of these operations and the many others that the Royal Air Force conducts daily to protect our nation is entirely down to our exceptional Whole force of Regulars, Reserves, civil servants and contractors and our continued ability to attract and recruit high-quality people from the widest pool of UK talent.”
The footage was obtained from the British Royal Air Force on Friday, 2nd September, along with a statement saying: “Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, visited RAF Brize Norton on 1st September, where he met members of the RAF’s Whole Force of regular and reserve aviators, civil servants and contractors, taking the opportunity to honour those involved in supporting operations in the 1 Air Mobility Wing honours and awards ceremony. He reflected on past and current operations while he was there, and you can see more on that here.”
The footage was relayed by the Ukrainian General Staff, who also took the opportunity to congratulate Liz Truss on becoming the UK’s next Prime Minister.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 194th day of the war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February and 6th September, Russia had lost about 50,150 personnel, 2,077 tanks, 4,484 armoured combat vehicles, 1,179 artillery units, 296 multiple launch rocket systems, 156 air defence systems, 236 warplanes, 207 helicopters, 876 drones, 209 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 3,305 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 109 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower, but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
The UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said on Monday that the backup power line at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, has been disconnected to extinguish a fire.
Ukraine’s state energy company Energoatom has said that four of the six UN mission members who went to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant have now left the site. Energoatom said that the two remaining IAEA experts would be staying at the plant on a permanent basis.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces have said that they have repelled Russian offensives in eastern Ukraine and had disrupted Russian crossings near the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, in the country’s south.
Kirill Stremousov, the head of the Russian authorities in Kherson, has said that plans for a ‘referendum’ on whether to become part of the Russian Federation have been temporarily “paused”.
Russia has said that it will not resume supplying Europe with gas until the West lifts sanctions against Moscow. Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, said on Monday that the halt in gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was due to the sanctions.
A Moscow court has revoked independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta of its print media licence. Its editor-in-chief, Dmitry Muratov, said that it was “a political hit job, without the slightest legal basis” and that the newspaper would appeal the decision.