Russia & Former Soviet Union

Ukraine asks West for submarines

The vessels would help Kiev expand its capabilities throughout the Black Sea, the navy chief claims

Commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Vice Admiral Aleksey Neizhpapa (front centre), London, the UK, December 11, 2023. © Getty Images / Lucy North/PA Images

Ukraine needs Western submarines to bolster its military capabilities in the Black Sea, Navy chief Admiral Aleksey Neizhpapa, has said.

He argued that deploying underwater craft could strategically improve Ukraine’s positions across the Black Sea during the conflict with Russia.

“We are thinking about it, submarines are necessary for us, they should be part of the navy,” Neizhpapa said in an interview with journalist Natalya Moseychuk, posted on her YouTube channel on Saturday.

The head of the Ukrainian navy added that the country does not need large submarines, as “they are useless in the Black Sea.”

“Locating only near Odessa means having nothing, we should look further, spread the fleet throughout the Black Sea and use its entire area,” he said, expressing hope that Ukraine would turn “from a coastal state into a maritime power.”

Since the Russia-Ukraine conflict erupted in February 2022, Western states have supplied vast quantities of weapons to Kiev, while denying direct involvement in the hostilities. However, with the fighting well into its third year, there have been numerous reports of dwindling support, with delays in arms and ammunition deliveries.

Moscow issues warning over US spy drones

Earlier this week, Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky said in an interview with Bloomberg that US weapons were taking too long to reach the country, despite Congress approving a $61 billion assistance package in April.

NATO diplomats told the agency that the US-led military bloc had agreed to provide at least €40 billion ($43 billion) in military aid for Ukraine per year, without specifying how long the aid would continue.


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