Ukraine receives £1.3bn boost from EU

Ukraine has received £1.3bn (€1.59bn) in a ninth tranche of financial assistance from the European Union, the country’s prime minister has said.

Denys Shmyhal said the bloc’s budget support has already amounted to £13bn this year.

He added that Ukraine expects to receive a further £15.7bn (€18bn) in 2024 under the EU’s facility plan – which aims to help the war-torn country rebuild itself effectively.

As of 31 July, EU institutions had committed to £67.2bn in financial assistance since the start of 2022, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Analysis: Ukraine only has two weeks to make a breakthrough – but a winter surprise is still possible

By Michael Clarke, defence analyst

Ukraine has only a couple more weeks or so until the weather turns wet and then goes towards freezing in December. 

So the easiest time for a big breakthrough is now passing and Ukraine will not have managed a big enough penetration to impress its western backers, especially in view of the Gaza war that’s drawing attention away from Ukraine.

On the other hand, Ukraine will certainly not stop fighting over the winter and they have degraded Russian forces to a considerable degree behind their lines. 

So a breakthrough over the winter is still a possibility for Kyiv once the ground freezes and armored vehicles can get off the roads again and fan out in open country. 

But Ukrainian forces will probably need a pause pretty soon in any case to rotate their troops and re-equip some of their key units for the next phase.

And they really need a lot more ammunition of all calibre shells and rockets for operations next year.

Having failed to create a dramatic breakthrough this summer, Ukraine may be hoping to spring some sort of surprise on the Russians during the winter, if only to keep their western suppliers confident they can – eventually – throw Russian forces out of most, or all, of the occupied areas.

But there is no mistaking the fact that both politically and militarily, these are tough months for Kyiv. 

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