In London, Volodymyr Zelensky calls for ‘fighters for Ukraine, wings for freedom’

Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in London on Wednesday 8th February with a message: “Give me the plane. » In front of Rishi Sunak’s government, hundreds of lords and British representatives in the grand medieval halls of Westminster, the Ukrainian president delivered an impassioned speech of about twenty minutes in English, calling on Western allies to “ Fighter fighter of Ukraine, wings of freedom”. He also very symbolically presented the speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, with the helmet of one of the most famous fighter pilots in the Ukrainian army, engraved with a similar message: “We have freedom, give us wings to protect it”.

Referring to his later visit to Buckingham Palace with King Charles III, Mr Zelensky further said,“Here the king is the RAF pilot, in Ukraine all our fighter pilots are kings, they are so precious”. He ended his speech with the same humor, reminding Lindsay Hoyle of her visit to the British Parliament two years ago: “I thank you for the delicious English tealaunched the President of Ukraine. Today I thank Parliament in advance for the mighty British jet. »

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Training and Intensive Training

Until now, like other Western leaders, very reluctant to send fighter jets to Ukraine, Rishi Sunak reversed his position on Wednesday morning, just before Mr Zelensky arrived in the UK, offering to train Ukrainian fighter pilots so they could, “In the future, flying advanced fighter jets compatible with NATO standards”. London has also offered to train Ukrainian sailors. These training efforts are in addition to the intensive training program London is already delivering in Kyiv.The UK has trained some 10,000 Ukrainian fighters in the past six months, with the UK committing to some ” upgrade” – Regarding the handling of weapons and the driving of vehicles – 20,000 more this year.

On Wednesday afternoon, Downing Street issued another cautious but important statement: “The Prime Minister instructed the Minister of Defense [Ben Wallace] Research which aircraft we can supply [à l’Ukraine] But to be clear, this is a long-term solution, and what Ukraine needs most is short-term capabilities. »

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