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United Kingdom transfers two minehunters to Ukraine

United Kingdom transfers two minehunters to Ukraine Illustrative photo (
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The United Kingdom has handed over two Royal Navy minesweepers to Ukraine. They have already arrived in Portsmouth, where their crews are undergoing training to prepare for missions in the Black Sea, according to Portsmouth News.

The Sandown-class warships, HMS Grimsby and HMS Shoreham were withdrawn from the Royal Navy and transferred to the Ukrainian military, where they will operate under the names Chernihiv and Cherkasy. The ships, each of which has served in the Royal Navy for more than 20 years, arrived at the Portsmouth Naval Base after sailing from Scotland.

They will remain based in Portsmouth while crew members undergo training to prepare them for mine detection in the Black Sea.

"The ships are currently not able to enter the Black Sea due to the terms of the Montreux Convention, which restricts passage of military vessels through the Bosporus Strait at times of war. However, they will form a critical capability for Ukraine in its future defense of its coastlines as the UK looks to support the longer-term capabilities of the Ukrainian navy, while they look to protect commercial shipping by detecting and disabling sea mines," says a UK Ministry of Defense spokesperson.

UK aid to Ukraine

The UK has been one of Ukraine's main allies since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The country was the first to agree to provide our military with modern Challenger 2 tanks and long-range Storm Shadow missiles with a range of 300 kilometers.

On March 22, the UK Ministry of Defense announces a new package of military aid to Ukraine worth 60 million pounds (over $75 million). It includes drones and air defense.

Also on April 8, the UK agreed with France to increase supplies of ammunition, drones, and air defense systems to Ukraine.