On 24th February 2022, President Putin of Russia launched an unprovoked and brutal invasion of its peaceful neighbour, Ukraine. This is a horrific attack on a democratic, sovereign European nation, as well as a clear violation of Russia’s obligations under international law, including the United Nations Charter.
The UK, together with our partners and allies, are responding and will hold the Russian government to account. We stand with Ukraine in this moment of agony and will always defend Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and the Ukrainian people’s right to choose their own destiny.
Putin must fail. The UK Government, standing alongside our friends in Ukraine and allies around the world, using all possible means at its disposal, is urgently engaged upon ensuring he does.
This page contains detailed information on how the UK is supporting Ukraine, and information on the ways you can support the Ukrainian people.
- For a number of years now, the UK has been the leading country supporting Ukraine’s security and defence, including its resilience against hostile state actors.
- The UK has trained over 22,000 members of the Ukrainian army through Operation ORBITAL. Since 2019, this operation has been also expanded to help Ukraine build up and sustain a naval capability (a large part of which was lost as a result of Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea).
- The UK was the first country to commit lethal aid to Ukraine when, in January 2022, two C-17s departed from RAF Brize Norton to deliver 2,000 anti-tank missiles to Ukrainian forces.
- These British-made and supplied shoulder launched missiles – the NLAWs - are now in wide use and have become a favourite of the brave Ukrainian warriors fighting on the front line.
- The UK continues to send vital weaponry to the Ukrainian forces to enable them to defend their country, including Starstreak High-Velocity Missile systems – the world’s most advanced anti-aircraft missile system.
- The UK is also increasing its efforts to defend NATO's Eastern flank, doubling the number of British soldiers in Poland and Estonia.
Economic & Humanitarian Support:
- The UK is the world's largest bilateral humanitarian donor to Ukraine.
- The Government has announced £220 million of emergency and humanitarian support for Ukraine to help aid agencies respond to the deteriorating humanitarian situation, creating a lifeline for Ukrainians with access to basic necessities and medical supplies such as medicines, syringes, dressings and wound care packs. UK Government humanitarian experts have also deployed to the region to support those fleeing the violence in Ukraine.
- We are guaranteeing up to $500 million of Ukrainian Development Bank financing, injecting vital capital into Ukraine and helping its economy weather the storm of Russian aggression.
- The UK has also provided an additional $100 million of funding for Ukraine to support public sector salaries, allowing critical state functions to keep operating, as well as to support social safety nets and pensions for the Ukrainian people.
The Government has announced its largest ever aid-match contribution to support Ukrainians who have had to flee their homes. The Government will match the first £20 million donated to the DEC's Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
- The UK will also be leading a new coalition, together with Canada and the Netherlands, to coordinate humanitarian, economic and defensive support for Ukraine.
- The UK will ensure it offers generous support to those fleeing Putin's war in fear of their lives.
- The Government has introduced an expansive Ukrainian Family Scheme so that British nationals and people settled in the UK can bring a wider group of family members to the UK, extending eligibility to parents, grandparents, adult offspring, siblings, and their immediate family members. This route is free, uncapped, and does not include any of the usual salary or language requirements. All Ukrainians joining family in the UK will be able to work and access public funds and services.
- The Government is also introducing a new humanitarian sponsorship pathway, which will open up a route to the UK for Ukrainians who may not have family ties with the UK but who are able to match with individuals, charities, businesses, and community groups. Those who come under this scheme will be granted leave for an initial period of 12 months and they will also be able to work and access public services. There will be no numerical limit on this scheme, and we will welcome as many Ukrainians as wish to come and have matched sponsors.
Holding Russia to Account:
- The UK, together with our allies, will ensure that Russia is held to account in a war crimes court at some point in the future.
- That is why the UK led efforts to bring together allies on 2nd March to expedite an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into Russian war crimes in Ukraine. With 37 countries joining the UK, it is the largest referral in the history of the ICC. As a founder member of the ICC, the UK is willing to provide the necessary technical assistance to support successful convictions.
- The Prime Minister has set out a six-point plan for the global response, providing clear leadership to make sure that Putin fails. The plan’s six steps are:
- mobilising an international humanitarian coalition for Ukraine;
- helping Ukraine to defend itself;
- maximising the economic pressure on Putin’s regime;
- preventing any creeping normalisation of what Russia is doing in Ukraine;
- pursuing diplomatic paths to de-escalation;
- and strengthening Euro-Atlantic security.
- The UK rallied UN General Assembly members, pushing for the strongest possible condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We rallied UN General Assembly members, voting to condemn Putin’s war alongside 140 other countries and ensuring the strongest possible condemnation of Russia.
- The Prime Minister has urged fellow G7 and NATO leaders to work together as one to do everything in their power to isolate Putin politically, economically and militarily, including ending Europe’s collective dependence on oil and gas.
- The UK has introduced the most severe package of sanctions Russia has ever seen to deliver a severe blow to Putin's regime and the oligarchs who support his war machine.
- The UK has frozen £258billion in Russian bank assets–more than any other country as we work together with our allies to implement crushing sanctions.
- We are sanctioning over 100 more companies and oligarchs, including Roman Abramovich, worth hundreds of billions of pounds. We will freeze all their assets in the UK and prevent any UK entities from engaging with these organisations and individuals in the UK or overseas, and we will impose a travel ban on individuals.
- We are sanctioning Vladimir Putin himself and his inner circle, including Sergey Lavrov, hitting the Kremlin regime at its heart. They will be hit with an assets freeze and blocked from any future business in the UK.
- We are hitting Russia’s banking and defence sector hard, significantly degrading Russia’s economic and military power. These tough sanctions include implementing asset freezes on VTB - Russia’s second largest bank, worth £154 billion; and on Rostec, Russia’s defence giant, responsible for $13 billion of arms exports per year.
- We will starve the Russian state of its access to finance, preventing Putin from raising money to support his unprovoked aggression. We will stop the Russian state from being able to borrow in UK markets and issue sovereign debt; block the ability of major Russian banks to operate in sterling around the world with a prohibition on clearing payments in sterling; and we will limit the amount of money Russian nationals can deposit in their UK bank accounts.
- We will expand measures to prevent key goods and technologies from being exported to Russia. We will no longer approve licences for the export of dual-use goods, with immediate effect, and ban the export of a range of high-end and critical technical equipment and components.
- The UK led global pressure to exclude Russian banks from the SWIFT financial system. We have committed to ensuring that selected Russian banks are removed from the SWIFT messaging system, ensuring they are disconnected from the international financial system, and harming their ability to operate globally.
- We are targeting the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, continuing to apply the most severe economic sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion. This action is taken in concert with the US and the EU, to prevent CBR from deploying its foreign reserves in ways that undermine the impact of sanctions.
- We have imposed sanctions on Belarus for aiding and abetting Russia’s illegal invasion–making sure the Lukashenko regime feels the economic consequences of its support for Putin.
- We have banned Aeroflot and all other Russian commercial and private jets from UK airspace. We have banned all Russia-linked vessels from entering UK ports .The ban includes any vessels owned or operated by anyone connected to Russia and authorities will also gain new powers to detain Russian vessels. We will prevent Russian companies in the aviation or space industry from making use of UK-based insurance or reinsurance services.
- We have expedited the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill through Parliament, cracking down on corrupt elites and ramping up pressure on Putin’s regime.
- We are creating a register of overseas entities, exposing foreign property owners who try to hide behind secretive shell companies. The new register will require anonymous foreign owners of UK property to reveal their real identities to ensure criminals cannot hide behind secretive shell companies, with those who break the rules facing up to 5 years in prison and restrictions on selling their property.
- We have announced plans to reform Companies House, cracking down on those who abuse our framework and improving corporate transparency.