Spain to send air defence systems to Ukraine: Nato chief

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday Spain was sending four medium-range air defence systems to Ukraine, as Western backers scramble to help Kyiv against Russia's missile barrages.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a press conference at the end of a two-day meeting of the alliance's Defence Ministers at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on October 13th 2022. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)

Ukraine’s international supporters have held talks at the Nato headquarters in Brussels with the focus on air defences after Moscow unleashed a blitz across Ukraine following a blast at a bridge to the annexed Crimea peninsula.

Stoltenberg said the older Hawk launchers from Madrid would complement more modern systems being supplied by Germany, France and the United States.

“We have seen that when we mobilise, when we call on Nato allies to do more, they’re actually doing more, and that’s making a huge difference,” Stoltenberg said after the Nato defence ministers meet.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin thanked Spain for its “very, very rapid response” to Ukraine’s latest request for more air defences.

“We would encourage the rest of our allies to dig deep and provide additional capability as well,” he said.

There has not yet been any formal public announcement from the Spanish authorities.

Western allies are struggling to work out how to supply more advanced systems to Ukraine as diplomats admit they have precious few to spare.

American Hawk surface-to-air systems originally came into service during the Cold War and are no longer in use by the US military after being superseded by more modern Patriot units.

Spain has refurbished some of its Hawk systems in recent years to extend their shelf life.

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Spain sends generators to Ukraine as temperatures plummet

The Spanish government has announced it has sent 14 new electric generators to war-torn Ukraine, where Russian attacks on energy infrastructure have left many without power or warm water as winter fast approaches.

Spain sends generators to Ukraine as temperatures plummet

On Friday “we dispatched a new package of 14 generators in view of what is proving to be a very harsh and difficult winter in Ukraine”, Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said.

Kyiv on Friday appealed to European allies for support, saying nearly half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure had been disabled and needed repair.

Madrid last month said it had sent five generators.

Temperatures have plunged across Ukraine in recent days, with the first snow falling on Thursday.

“Due to a dramatic drop in temperature, electricity consumption is increasing daily in those regions of Ukraine where power supply has already been restored after massive missile strikes on November 15th on the energy infrastructure,” said Ukrenergo, an electricity transmission system operator in Ukraine and the sole operator of the country’s high-voltage transmission lines.

Albares said Spain would also dispatch 30 ambulances as well as police reinforcements to help Ukraine investigate possible war crimes on its territory.

Both the European Commission and the European Parliament have warned that the humanitarian situation in Ukraine is the “worst” since the war broke out in February and insisted on the need to provide aid to the country so that it can face the winter.