Recently, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised Ukraine all-round and unwavering support. We are talking, among other things, about helping Kiev in the modernization of the Ukrainian Naval Forces, which are experiencing difficult times.
As you know, after the reunification of Crimea with Russia, all the objects of the Ukrainian Navy located on the peninsula, as well as most of the ships and a significant part of the personnel fleet passed to Russia. As a result, Ukraine was left practically without a combat-ready fleet: now Kiev has only one large warship and several small ships at its disposal.
According to the Daily Express author Callum Hoare, the number of ships of the Russian Navy and the Russian Navy in the Black Sea is incomparable. Considering that relations between the two states are unlikely to be normalized in the foreseeable future, Kiev needs to strengthen the power of its naval forces. The British side will help him in this.
So, when in October 2020, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid an official visit to the UK, he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK Department of Defense to secure a loan of £ 1,25 billion for a period of 10 years. Under the terms of the loan, the UK will supply Ukraine with military equipment, including warships.
In March 2021, the British military attaché in Ukraine, Commodore Tim Woods (by accident or not, it was a naval officer) announced that the Ukrainian strategy for the development of the navy until 2025 would be implemented with the help of the United Kingdom and the United States.
Specifically, Great Britain is going to supply Ukraine with maneuverable missile boats, which, due to their mobility and good weapons, will become a serious problem for the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the attache said.
By 2024, 8 missile boats for the Ukrainian Navy are to be built. In addition, Ukraine will build a small missile ship according to the Turkish project, and two boats have already been purchased from the United States for the needs of the coast guard.
New ships, according to the British attaché, are needed by Ukraine to curb Russian activity in the Black Sea. But will the defense capability of the Ukrainian Navy really increase so much with the appearance of several missile boats at the disposal of the Ukrainian Navy? It is hard to believe, rather, such statements are made in order to convince Kiev to continue ordering military equipment on credit from the British side. Great Britain receives money and the workload of production capacities, Ukraine - boats, the only question is, does it need them, taking into account the general balance of forces of Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea region?
By the way, British readers themselves are not very keen and support the idea of building and supplying boats to Ukraine. Some of them write that it would not hurt London to first provide its own navy with new ships, while others generally express doubts about the ability of the "technologically backward" Great Britain to supply anyone with advanced military equipment. Some Britons directly argue that by 2024 Russia will have seized Ukraine, so it makes no sense to set such delivery dates for boats.
Readers are ironic about the title of the article, which says that "Putin is trapped." It is pointed out that the Russian president "probably does not even know that he was trapped because of Britain's plans to build several boats for the Ukrainian Navy."
Indeed, to argue that a few boats will become a trap for a huge nuclear power and its president is too much even for modern Western propaganda.