Britain sends underwater drones to clear Ukrainian grain exports of mines

Latest news on the war pitting Russia and Ukraine.

The British Ministry of Defense announced Saturday that it is sending underwater drones to Ukraine to clear its coastline of mines with the aim of clearing food supply routes, trapped for months due to the Russian invasion.

Ukrainian personnel stationed in Britain will be trained in the use of the machines in the waters off the Ukrainian coast.

The Defense portfolio has specified in a statement that they will send, specifically, six autonomous mine-hunting vehicles. “Three of these will be obtained from UK stocks, three others will be purchased from industry,” the missive reads.

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These autonomous vehicles would be designed for use in shallow coastal environments, as they operate effectively in the top 100 meters. The Ukrainian Armed Forces could — with these drones — detect, locate and identify mines using a series of sensors.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has assured that this equipment and training are “vital” to making these waters “safe.” “Russia’s cynical attempts to withhold the world’s food supply must not be allowed to succeed,” he said.

The British Executive has accused Moscow of militarizing food by destroying Ukrainian agriculture and blockading Black Sea ports to prevent shipments to the rest of the world’s countries.

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Supplies have resumed following an agreement negotiated by the UN and Turkey with Kiev and Moscow. However, Britain’s Ministry of Defense has indicated that efforts to get food out of the country continue to be hampered by Russian forces’ sea mines.

Britain’s Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sir Ben Key, has stated that “this training is another powerful demonstration of the UK’s continued commitment to Ukraine as it fights to defend its country and repel Russian aggression.”

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