World about Ukraine: April 2024, digest 1

World about Ukraine: April 2024, digest 1

 World about Ukraine: April 2024, digest 1.

'Germany to send new missiles to Ukraine as army struggles on eastern front

Germany says it will hand over Patriot air defence system and missiles, while Russia claims capture of another village. Germany will deliver a United States-made Patriot air defence system and air defence missiles to Ukraine at a “critical time” as Kyiv struggles to defend its energy system from Russian bombardment, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Read more on AlJazeera.

UK laser could be used against Russian drones on Ukraine front line

A UK high-power laser weapon could be sent to Ukraine to take down Russian drones, the defence secretary says. According to Grant Shapps, the weapon could have "huge ramifications" for the conflict in Europe. The DragonFire weapon is expected to be rolled out by 2027, but Mr Shapps said he wanted to "speed up" production and make it available sooner.  It follows a successful trial of the laser, carried out against an aerial target for the first time in January. The laser was originally expected to be operational by 2032, but new reforms intended to speed up government procurement of weapons mean that it will now be ready five years earlier.

Read more on BBC

Dutch Commit an Extra €1.4 Billion in 2024 Support for Ukraine

The Netherlands has committed an additional €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) in support for Ukraine this year as the war-ravaged country pleads for more aid to beat back Russia’s invasion. The Dutch government will release an extra €1 billion in military aid as well as €400 million to bolster the Ukrainian economy and fund critical energy infrastructure repairs, Prime Minister Mark Ruttesaid in a post on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, on Friday. Another €3 billion has been earmarked for 2025.

Read more on Bloomberg

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba demands more Patriot air defenses

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wants the West’s extra, idle Patriot air defense batteries. And he’s not asking nicely anymore. “Nice and quiet diplomacy didn’t work,” Kuleba, Kyiv’s top diplomat, told The Washington Post in an interview this week. Patriot, a U.S.-designed air defense system that costs more than $1 billion per battery, has been at the top of Ukraine’s weapons wish list since Russia invaded more than two years ago. Kyiv received its first Patriot batteries last summer, but the three it has now are not sufficient to defend the entire country against Russia’s increased aerial bombardment.

Read more on The Washington Post

Attacks on Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant significantly increase accident risk, IAEA head says

The head of the U.N.’s atomic watchdog agency on Sunday condemned a drone strike on one of six nuclear reactors at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, saying such attacks “significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident.” In a statement on the social media platform X, Rafael Mariano Grossi confirmed at least three direct hits against the ZNPP main reactor containment structures took place. “This cannot happen,” he said. Russia blamed Ukraine for the attack, but the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency didn’t attribute blame. Kyiv officials made no immediate comment. He said it was the first such attack since November 2022, when he set out five basic principles to avoid a serious nuclear accident with radiological consequences.

Read more on AP News

Switzerland to host 'high-level' Ukraine peace summit in mid-June, says Russia will not attend

The conference will take place at the luxury Burgenstock resort near the central city of Luzern on June 15-16 and would be hosted by Swiss President Viola Amherd. "This is a first step in a process towards a lasting peace," she told reporters in Bern. Russia quickly slammed the planned conference and Amherd acknowledged that "we will not sign a peace plan at this conference", but said she hoped "there will be a second conference". "We hope to start the process."

Read more on France 24

More than half of French youth ready to enlist and fight in Ukraine

A new survey published by Le Parisien this week has surprised commentators by indicating that French youth are well aware of the situation in Ukraine and do not rule out their personal involvement. The article is headed "Renewed Patriotism".  The survey shows that 51% of French youth would consider signing up and fighting in Ukraine and 57% answered affirmatively to a more generally phrased question about readiness to fight - without specific mention of Ukraine.  The research combined the results of several surveys, including a questionnaire-based survey by Ipsos on 2 300 French people aged 18-25. 

Read more on Polske Radio

Ukraine says it needs 25 Patriot missile systems to repel Russian attacks

"Ukraine needs 25 Patriot air defense systems that could protect our cities from enemy attacks," Illia Yevlash said, as cited by Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform. He added that Ukraine also needs "many other assets" to protect its airspace, including "portable systems that are used by mobile fire groups," Ukrinform reported. Yevlash told reporters that Ukraine needs to develop "a whole deeply echeloned air defense system that will include short-, medium- and long-range air defense equipment with the support of fighter aircraft."

Read more on Polske Radio

Ukraine, UK Sign Agreement to Cooperate on Arms Production

Ukraine and Britain have signed a framework agreement to cooperate in the defence and arms production sector, officials said in Kyiv, part of a wartime effort to build up Ukraine's domestic weapons industry by working with allies. The document was signed at a military industry conference in Kyiv that was attended by about 30 British defence companies who visited to discuss potential joint ventures with Ukrainian weapons and defence producers.

Read more on US News

US to Sell to Ukraine $138 Million in HAWK Air Defense Upgrades

The United States will sell Ukraine up to $138 million worth of equipment to maintain and upgrade its HAWK air defense systems to help defend against Russian drone and cruise missile attacks, a U.S. State Department official told Reuters on Tuesday. The U.S. began shipping HAWK interceptor missiles to Ukraine in 2022 as an upgrade to the shoulder-launched Stinger air defense missile systems - a smaller, shorter-range system. Since then, Ukraine has received several air defense systems, including the U.S.-made Patriot system. Tuesday's emergency foreign military sale is worth as much as $138 million, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Read more on US News

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