A Ukrainian soldier with an NLAW - like one supplied by the UK - during training last month (Picture: Mykola Tys/SOPA Images/Sipa USA/Alamy).
A Ukrainian soldier with an NLAW - like one supplied by the UK - during training last month (Picture: Mykola Tys/SOPA Images/Sipa USA/Alamy).
Ukraine

Ukraine: Russian tanks destroyed by UK weapons

A Ukrainian soldier with an NLAW - like one supplied by the UK - during training last month (Picture: Mykola Tys/SOPA Images/Sipa USA/Alamy).
A Ukrainian soldier with an NLAW - like one supplied by the UK - during training last month (Picture: Mykola Tys/SOPA Images/Sipa USA/Alamy).

Russian tanks have been destroyed by weapons provided by the UK, it has been confirmed.

Speaking in the UK capital, Ukraine's Ambassador to London Vadym Prystaiko said the anti-tank weaponry provided by the UK –  known as NLAW (next-generation light anti-armour weapon) – had been used to help the state defend itself against Russian forces.

However, he said "people are dying as we speak" in the pushback against Russia, and Ukraine needed "something which only NATO can provide".

"At this moment, we have enough people, we don't have enough equipment," he said.

"We should have started (to prepare) much earlier, maybe decades ago.

"That's why we’ve been trying to get into NATO (for) all these years because we always believed this would come."

Defence minister James Heappey told MPs that the Government would explore options "to support the Ukrainians themselves over the next few days" but added NATO troops should not play an "active role" in the country because of the "risk of miscalculation" leading to "existential" threat.

Mr Heappey added that 1,000 UK troops are on standby "to support Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Poland with the expected humanitarian challenges that they will face as people make their way out of Ukraine".

He explained that troops could not "realistically" be sent into Ukraine itself – in a similar fashion to last summer's Afghanistan evacuation – as NATO personnel could get caught up in combat with Russian forces in a "highly kinetic" scenario, potentially leading to "huge escalation".

Watch: PM – Putin's 'hideous and barbarous venture' in Ukraine must end in failure.

In January, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed the UK was sending "self-defence" weapons to Ukraine as tensions with Russia continued to build.

Sam Cranny-Evans, a research analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), said the NLAW is "accurate out to 600m, potentially has a reach of up to 1km and it can be fired from within quite confined spaces".

He also added that while "we know that the Russian forces do like to use lots of armour and lots of artillery", they also combine "their initial offensive forces with rotary-wing aviation".