Ukraine crisis: UK to send tents and winter clothing

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image captionThe UK has already supplied Ukraine with £850,000 worth of non-lethal military equipment

Tents and winter clothing will be sent to the Ukrainian army as it continues to resist Russian-backed separatists, the defence secretary has said.

Michael Fallon said 170 large tents and 600 sets of clothing worth £971,000 including transport costs will be sent.

In a written parliamentary statement he said there had been a reduction in violence since August's ceasefire.

But he said the absence of a "political settlement" to the crisis meant troops had to "remain deployed forward".

'Improve resilience'

Mr Fallon said about 8,000 people had been killed in the fighting between the Ukrainian armed forces and separatists receiving "direct military support" from Russia.

He said the UK government was "committed to supporting Ukraine's sovereignty".

"Our proposed gift of non-lethal equipment is designed to prevent further Ukrainian fatalities and casualties and to help improve resilience on the ground," Mr Fallon said.

The UK has already supplied Ukraine with £850,000 worth of equipment including first aid kits, sleeping bags and night-vision goggles as part of its pledge to provide assistance.

British military personnel have also been training members of the Ukrainian army.

The gift has been outlined in a departmental minute. If no MP objects within 14 sitting days, delivery will be carried out in the coming weeks.

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