- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

UK Politician Slams Sunak Over Tanks for Kiev, Says It’s Wrong to Prop Up ‘Corrupt Zelensky Regime’

© Photo : Facebook/BritishArmyPhotographersChallenger 2 tank
Challenger 2 tank - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.01.2023
Britain has announced plans to send 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks, 30 AS90 self-propelled guns, and possibly, four Apache helicopters to Ukraine. The Russian Embassy in London blasted Number 10 over the tank plans, accusing the government of trying to set a precedent for the deployment of heavy weaponry to escalate the crisis.
Heritage Party leader David Kurten has lashed out at Prime Minister Rishi Sunak over his decision to send main battle tanks to Ukraine, saying the United Kingdom should be working toward de-escalating the Ukraine crisis.
“Sunak is wrong to send British tanks to Ukraine. The UK government should be trying to de-escalate the Ukraine conflict, not prolonging it by supporting the corrupt, Nazi-infested Zelensky regime,” Kurten tweeted late on Saturday.
The social conservative politician and political commentator, previously affiliated with the UK Independence Party, ran for mayor of London in 2021, and in elections and by-elections for a seat in the House of Commons in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021.
Kurten emerged as an outspoken critic of the mainstream narrative on the Ukraine crisis last year. In September, he appeared on Piers Morgan’s chat program, telling Morgan that “the West has been poking the [Russian] bear for eight years essentially,” and that “the Ukrainian Army and forces, backed by the Azov Battalion, for eight years have been shelling, maiming, killing ethnic Russians in the Donbass.”
Accused by Morgan of “spewing Russian propaganda,” and barely able to get a word in edgewise, Kurten emphasized that he “simply ha[s] the opposite opinion,” and thinks the UK “should be trying to end this peacefully,” instead of delivering more lethal aid to forces “who wear Nazi symbols and flags on their shirts,” or discussing “regime change” in Russia, which he characterized as “very dangerous talk.”
Union Jack flags are seen surrounding the Elizabeth Tower, known as Big Ben, beside the Houses of Parliament in London, Friday, June 24, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.01.2023
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What are the New Weapons Systems Britain is Sending to Ukraine?

The Challenger 2 is a late-Cold War era-designed tank produced by BAE Systems whose manufacture and fielding began in the 1990s and wrapped up in the early 2000s. The 64-ton behemoths are fitted with composite armor, a 120 mm main gun, and 7.62 mm chain and machine guns. The only other country operating the tank besides Britain is Oman, which bought 38 of the 445+ total tanks produced. The Challenger 2 was deployed in NATO operations in Bosnia and Kosovo, and the US-UK-led war of aggression in Iraq, where one tank was destroyed in a friendly fire incident and two damaged by Iraqi militants.
UK media say “many” of the estimated 227 Challenger 2s in the British Army’s inventory are in no condition to be deployed. In 2021, it was reported that the military might scrap 77 of its Challenger 2s to pay for a 1.2 billion pound upgrade to the rest of the fleet to turn the “relic from the Gulf War” into “something that can fight the next war.” But the escalation of the crisis in Donbass into a full-on proxy conflict between Russia and NATO in Ukraine has given the UK and its allies an opportunity to pawn off its aging military hardware to Kiev as “aid.”
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Along with main battle tanks, the UK’s latest aid package includes AS-90 self-propelled guns. Like the Challenger 2, the AS-90 is a late Cold War-era design that was first fielded in the 1990s, and is armed with a 155 mm gun. The howitzers have a firing range of between 25 and 30 km, and an operational on-road range of 420 km. The weapons systems were deployed in the invasion of Iraq. A total of 179 AS-90s were built between 1992 and 1995 by Vickers. The Defense Ministry announced early last year that it planned to phase the AS-90s out of service by 2030.
There has been some confusion about whether the UK's weapons deliveries might include Apache gunships, with UK media reporting, but the MoD reportedly denying, that they will be sent.
In any event, the Apache is a twin-turboshaft attack helicopter manufactured by Boeing. Introduced in to service with the US military in the mid-1980s, the helicopter has been exported to more than a dozen countries, including Egypt, Israel, and the Netherlands, and features an array of anti-personnel and anti-armor bombs, bullets and missiles, including cluster munitions. The UK’s Apaches originally included eight built by Boeing, and 59 under license by AugustaWestland, a British aircraft manufacturer. Apaches have been extensively used in an array of US and NATO wars over three decades, including the US invasion of Panama in 1989, the 1990-1991 Gulf War, the US bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel has used its Apaches to launch attacks on Palestinian militants in Gaza and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia. The UK has purchased 50 upgraded Apache Guardians, which it expects to receive by 2024. Over a dozen of the gunships had been delivered as of early 2022.
AH-64 Apache helicopter - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.01.2023
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