Why is the UK at the forefront of aid to Ukraine?

Rishi Sunak, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the gardens of Checkers, the British prime minister's resort, in Aylesbury, England, May 15, 2023.

Even before the start of hostilities, it was the first European country to supply defensive arms and dispatch military advisers. The first then to announce the dispatch of heavy tanks, then long-range missiles before playing a leading role in the delivery of combat aircraft, to which the United States has just consented…

While Boris Johnson still called himself a “Convinced Russophile” Five years ago, the UK was and remains firmly at the forefront of military assistance to Ukraine. This commitment is not only the expression of indignation in the face of Russian aggression, nor of opportunism centered on domestic political issues. It is also the fruit of a diplomatic culture deeply rooted in the confrontation with Moscow, which is resurfacing today with renewed vigor after a hiatus of forty years.

When the Soviet bloc fell apart, opening the way to a democratic and liberal consensus considered so inevitable that some announced ” the end of the story “the attention of free world » slid from Moscow to the Near and Middle East, to fix itself, after September 11, on the hearths of the “international terrorism”, then Iraq and Afghanistan. Vladimir Putin, for his part, took tea in Windsor and London, played the card of economic pragmatism consisting, among other things, in attracting foreign capital, in particular that of energy companies and the wealthy Russian oligarchs, invited from 1994 to invest their millions in the UK in exchange for “golden visas”.

Read the decryption: Article reserved for our subscribers War in Ukraine: “Londongrad”, fallen capital of billionaires close to the Kremlin


nicknamed “Londongrad”the beautiful districts of the British capital became for them the place to bewhich they remained until the master of the Kremlin ordered his troops to march on kyiv. “British governments have been very welcoming to Russian fortunes and all other foreign fortunes. Finance has been the country’s engine of growth for forty years.explained to World Nikhil Kalyanpur, international finance expert and professor at the London School of Economics (LSE), in March 2022.

The anti-corruption NGO Transparency International estimates at 1.5 billion pounds (1.8 billion euros) the real estate acquired in the United Kingdom by Russians suspected of corruption, many of whom owe their fortune to their proximity to Vladimir Putin.

Neither the lightning war in Georgia in 2008, nor the annexation of Crimea six years later, nor the intervention of the Russian army in Syria in 2015 dislodged them, which earned the various tenants of 10 Downing Street to be taxed with complacency towards them, even towards the Kremlin.

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