On November 20, the Daily Telegraph reported that the UK is going to increase its military support to the Kiev government. This effort will include the deployment of British troops in Ukraine and sending a British Navy ship to the country.
“As long as Ukraine faces Russian hostilities, it will find a steadfast partner in the United Kingdom,” British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson will say announcing the move according to the Tory-supporting Telegraph, who have apparently been provided with access to Williamson’s speech.
Since 2015, the UK has reportedly trained about 10,000 Ukrainian troops in areas such as logistics and identification of improvised explosive devices. So, British special services also provide “assistance” to their Ukrainian counterparts in the smoldering conflict in the region of Donbass.
On November 19, 2018 the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that the US had allegedly suggested to supply two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates to Ukraine. These frigates were put out of commission by the US Navy in 2013-2015.
On September 27, Ukraine received two old patrol boats from the US Navy. Despite receiving them free, Ukraine will have to pay $10 million for renovations of the vessels in Baltimore, where they will remain until fall of 2019.
These developments come ahead of an expected further escalation in relations between Ukraine and Russia. The Sea of Azov is the main point of tensions between the two sides besides the region of Donbass. Over the past year, Ukraine has undertaken a series of hostile steps toward civil ships under Russian flag in the Sea of Azov. Rusisa has responded by deploying an additional coastal guards force and started checks of all ship heading towards the Ukrainian ports in the area.
According to experts, there are litlte doubts that the Kiev government will use its “boosted” naval capabilities to increase tensiosn in the Azov Sea.
Another point of escalation is a contact line between the Ukrainian Armed Forces and forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Sporadic clashes and artillery duels erupt there on a cosntant basis. However, as the Ukrainian presidential election is drawing closer, the chances that the Poroshenko regime (wich lost all of its questionable popularity) will attempt to use the conflict to gain an upper hand in a political standoff with its internal opponents are growing.