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The Australia Government is set to provide additional uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) to the Ukrainian armed forces as they fight the Russian invasion.

The additional military assistance was announced as Ukraine enters its second year of Russia’s full-scale military invasion of the country.

Australia Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles: “In response to requests, Australia is providing more uncrewed aerial systems to the Ukrainian Government; this support will provide a battlefield intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability to the Ukrainian Armed Forces as they continue to fight against the unwarranted aggression of Russia.”

In addition to offering material aide, Australia has commitment to training recruits from the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the UK.

As part of Operation Kudu, Australia’s contribution to the UK-led, multi-national training programme, up to 70 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have been deployed to the UK.

The Australian contingent will train recruits in basic infantry tactics in urban and wooded environments in the UK.

Marles added: “This announcement coincides with the first graduation of Australian-trained Ukrainian soldiers as part of a UK-led multinational training effort to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. They leave with skills and knowledge that will save lives when they take up the fight against Russia.”

Australia has also imposed additional sanctions against Russia.

In a separate development, Finland has announced the 13th package of defence materiel to Ukraine. It includes the delivery of three Leopard 2 mine clearing tanks to Ukraine.

Finland Defence Minister Mikko Savola said that the additional assistance was decided based on Ukraine’s requirements. The aid package is valued at more than €160m.

Savola said: “Friday 24 February marks the one-year anniversary of the start of Russia’s war of aggression, and Ukraine continues to need support in its defence. We will send more defence materiel and participate in the Leopard cooperation, together with our partners.”