I fought with the NLaw, and won! Ukraine releases tribute video to the UK

Ukraine has released a video paying tribute to the support it has received from the United Kingdom in its defence against Vladimir Putin’s invasion, complete with a soundtrack by The Clash and shots of Russian tanks being destroyed by British-built NLAWs.

The United Kingdom has been one of Ukraine’s most stalwart allies in the face of Russian aggression – along with Poland, Estonia and Latvia and others – committing nearly £3billion in humanitarian aid and grants.

That includes 120 armoured vehicles, air defence systems and more than 6,500 of the now-famous NLAW anti-tank missiles, according to a government website. 

The weapons systems have been put to good use by Ukraine’s NATO-trained army as they have laid waste to an estimated 1,000 Russian tanks – even bringing the very future of the tank into question.

Previously, the under-equipped Ukrainian military had been relying mostly on ageing legacy equipment from the Soviet Union.

The tribute video opens in cinéma vérité style, with sweeping shots of London and the English countryside and captions that reference William Blake’s famous line, ‘that green and pleasant land of…’

Some famous figures of British culture and history flash past the screen, including William Shakespeare, David Bowie, the Queen during the Second World War, and sports stars Steven Gerrard and Lewis Hamilton. 

David Bowie is one of the famous figures of British culture and history that flash up on the screen during the intro to Ukraine’s tribute video to the UK

The phrase 'that green and pleasant land' references the famous William Blake poem Milton: A Poem in Two Books from 1808

The phrase ‘that green and pleasant land’ references the famous William Blake poem Milton: A Poem in Two Books from 1808

A Ukrainian serviceman wields one of the 6,500 Swedish-British NLAW anti-tank missiles donated by the UK on his shoulder

A Ukrainian serviceman wields one of the 6,500 Swedish-British NLAW anti-tank missiles donated by the UK on his shoulder

The burning husk of a Russian tank destroyed by an NLAW outside a suburban house, one of an estimated 1,000 Russian tanks taken out by the Ukrainian army

The burning husk of a Russian tank destroyed by an NLAW outside a suburban house, one of an estimated 1,000 Russian tanks taken out by the Ukrainian army

An NLAW missile is launched (right of shot) from the building window at a passing Russian tank, destined to hit its top rear, one of the most vulnerable parts of a tank

An NLAW missile is launched (right of shot) from the building window at a passing Russian tank, destined to hit its top rear, one of the most vulnerable parts of a tank

The video rounds out with the iconic James Bond gun barrel sequence where 007 shoots directly at the screen towards an implied assassin and blood runs down the screen, with the words: 'Thank you, UK!'

The video rounds out with the iconic James Bond gun barrel sequence where 007 shoots directly at the screen towards an implied assassin and blood runs down the screen, with the words: ‘Thank you, UK!’ 

Then there’s a step change as Joe Strummer’s guitar riffs and vocals kick in. The famous lyrics ‘I fought the law and the law won’ are intercut with battlefield video of NLAW missiles strike and destroy Russian tanks.

‘Just remember that every Russian villain an NLAW takes out in Ukraine… is one less Russian villain he’ll have to deal with,’ flashes on the screen.

The video rounds out with the iconic James Bond gun barrel sequence where 007 shoots directly at the screen towards an implied assassin and blood runs down the screen, with the words: ‘Thank you, UK!’

The NLAW, or Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon, is a Swedish-designed, British-built weapons system that has become a popular meme. Its catchy association with The Clash song has inspired the punk rebel association between the NLAW and Ukraine standing up to Russia.

Of all the nations supporting Ukraine, by far the largest quantity of military systems and other aid has come from the United States, which has announced it is sending another $450 million in fresh armaments, including Himars rocket systems.

A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, a little over a week before Russia invaded

A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, a little over a week before Russia invaded

The famous meme that came out of the early days of the war and inspired the punk rebel association between the NLAW and Ukraine standing up to Russia

The famous meme that came out of the early days of the war and inspired the punk rebel association between the NLAW and Ukraine standing up to Russia 

The systems can simultaneously launch multiple precision missiles at an extended range, and provide a capability that Ukraine is sorely lacking in the raging battlefields around Luhansk and the Donetsk in the east.

The Ukranian military is being forced to retreat from Severodonetsk, according to a senior Ukrainian official, due to a brutal Russian offensive that is reducing the battleground city to rubble with massed heavy artillery shelling that the Ukrainians cannot match.

‘Ukraine has one artillery piece to 10 to 15 Russian artillery pieces,’ Vadym Skibitsky, deputy head of Ukraine’s military intelligence said two weeks ago, ‘and we are losing in terms of artillery’.

‘Everything now depends on what [the west] gives us,’ said Skibitsky. ‘Ukraine has one artillery piece to 10 to 15 Russian artillery pieces. Our western partners have given us about 10% of what they have.’ 

Capturing Severodonetsk, in the Donbas region, has become a key goal of the Russians as they focus their offensive on eastern Ukraine after being repelled from Kyiv following their February invasion.

The strategically important industrial hub has been the scene of weeks of street battles as the outgunned Ukrainians put up a fierce defence.

But Sergiy Gaiday – governor of Lugansk, which includes the city – said the Ukrainian military would have to retreat.

‘They have received an order to do so,’ he said on Telegram.

‘Remaining in positions that have been relentlessly shelled for months just doesn’t make sense.’

US military personnel stand by a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) in Saudi Arabia

US military personnel stand by a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) in Saudi Arabia

The US is cooperating with Ukrainian demands to provide accurate, long-range weapons systems such as the HIMAR to match and exceed Russia on the battlefield

The US is cooperating with Ukrainian demands to provide accurate, long-range weapons systems such as the HIMAR to match and exceed Russia on the battlefield

The Himars use precision-guided munitions with a range is about 50 miles (80 kilometres)

The Himars use precision-guided munitions with a range is about 50 miles (80 kilometres)

The city has been ‘nearly turned to rubble’ by continual bombardment, he added.

‘All critical infrastructure has been destroyed. Ninety percent of the city is damaged, 80 percent (of) houses will have to be demolished,’ he said.

The Ukrainians had already been pushed back from much of the city, leaving them in control of only industrial areas.

Capturing Severodonetsk and its twin city of Lysychansk, Severodonetsk’s sister city across the Donets river, would give the Russians control of Lugansk, and allow them to push further into the wider Donbas.

Gaiday said the Russians were now advancing on Lysychansk, which has been facing increasingly heavy Russian bombardment.

The situation for those that remain in the city was increasingly bleak.

Liliya Nesterenko said her house had no gas, water or electricity and she and her mother were cooking on a campfire. She was cycling along the street, and had come out to feed a friend’s pets.

But the 39-year-old was upbeat about the city’s defences: ‘I believe in our Ukrainian army, they should (be able to) cope.

‘They’ve prepared already.’

A representative of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine earlier told AFP the resistance of Ukrainian forces trying to defend Lysychansk and Severodonetsk was ‘pointless and futile’.

Smoke billows over the oil refinery outside the town of Lysychansk. The neighbouring city of Severodonetsk has been 'nearly turned to rubble' by continual bombardment

Smoke billows over the oil refinery outside the town of Lysychansk. The neighbouring city of Severodonetsk has been ‘nearly turned to rubble’ by continual bombardment

A Ukrainian serviceman on a position in the city of Severodonetsk of Luhansk area. Ukrainian forces have been given the order to retreat, according the the mayor of Luhansk

A Ukrainian serviceman on a position in the city of Severodonetsk of Luhansk area. Ukrainian forces have been given the order to retreat, according the the mayor of Luhansk

Ukrainian troop ride a tank on a road of the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 21, 2022, as Ukraine says Russian shelling has caused "catastrophic destruction" in the eastern industrial city of Lysychansk, which lies just across a river from Severodonetsk where Russian and Ukrainian troops have been locked in battle for weeks

Ukrainian troop ride a tank on a road of the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 21, 2022, as Ukraine says Russian shelling has caused “catastrophic destruction” in the eastern industrial city of Lysychansk, which lies just across a river from Severodonetsk where Russian and Ukrainian troops have been locked in battle for weeks

Locals look at destroyed buildings in Lysychansk after heavy fighting in the Luhansk area. Capturing Severodonetsk and its twin city of Lysychansk, Severodonetsk's sister city across the Donets river, would give the Russians control of Lugansk, and allow them to push further into the wider Donbas

Locals look at destroyed buildings in Lysychansk after heavy fighting in the Luhansk area. Capturing Severodonetsk and its twin city of Lysychansk, Severodonetsk’s sister city across the Donets river, would give the Russians control of Lugansk, and allow them to push further into the wider Donbas

‘At the rate our soldiers are going, very soon the whole territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic will be liberated,’ said Andrei Marochko, a spokesman for the Moscow-backed army of Lugansk.

Off the battlefield, Ukraine made promising progress in its bid for European Union membership, with EU leaders granting it and neighbouring Moldova candidate status at a Brussels summit on Thursday.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the news as ‘a unique and historic moment’, adding: ‘Ukraine’s future is within the EU.’

French President Emmanuel Macron said the decision by EU leaders sent a ‘very strong signal’ to Russia that Europeans support the pro-Western aspirations of Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin had declared Ukraine to be part of Moscow’s sphere and insisted he was acting due to attempts to bring the country into NATO, the Western alliance that comes with security guarantees.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen (L), President of the European Council Charles Michel (C) and France's President Emmanuel Macron (R)

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen (L), President of the European Council Charles Michel (C) and France’s President Emmanuel Macron (R)

Ukraine and neighbouring Moldova were granted candidate status by the EU at a Brussels summit on Thursday

Ukraine and neighbouring Moldova were granted candidate status by the EU at a Brussels summit on Thursday

European powers before the invasion had distanced themselves from US support for Ukraine’s NATO aspirations, and EU membership is at least years away.

Ukraine and Moldova will have to go through protracted negotiations and the European Union has laid out steps that Kyiv must take even before that, including bolstering the rule of law and fighting corruption.

Putin reacted to the news of Ukraine’s potential accession to the EU with unexpected equanimity, saying last week that he had ‘nothing against’ it.

‘We have nothing against it. It is not a military bloc. It’s the right of any country to join economic unions,’ Putin said on Friday when asked about the prospects of Ukraine joining the EU. 

Western officials have also accused Russia of weaponising its key exports of gas as well as grain from Ukraine, contributing to global inflation and rising hunger in the world.

A US official warned of new retaliatory measures against Russia at the Group of Seven summit being attended by President Joe Biden in Germany starting Sunday.

Germany ratcheted up an emergency gas plan to its second alert level, just one short of the maximum that could require rationing in Europe’s largest economy, after Russia slashed supplies.

‘Gas is now a scarce commodity,’ German Economy Minister Robert Habeck told reporters, urging households to cut back on use.

Demand for gas is lower in the summer but shortages could cause problems with heating in the winter.

A Kremlin spokesman reiterated its claim that the supply cuts were due to maintenance and that necessary equipment from abroad had not arrived.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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