Strengthening the cyber resilience of Ukraine’s Border Guard Service forms part of a new assistance package from the Australian government.
In response to a request from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Commonwealth government has committed $99.5 million in additional military assistance to Ukraine, including the delivery of 14 M113 armoured personnel carriers and 20 Thales-built Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles.
These are in addition to the vehicles pledged by former prime minister Scott Morrison ahead of the federal election – taking Australia’s total contribution of military vehicles since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine to 88 (60 Bushmasters and 28 M113 APCs).
The Albanese government’s military support package also includes other unspecified military equipment supplied by Australia’s defence industry, and a financial contribution to NATO’s Ukraine Comprehensive Assistance Package Trust Fund.
The value of Australia’s military assistance to Ukraine now totals approximately $388 million.
Notably, $8.7 million has been pledged to assist Ukraine’s Border Guard Service, tipped to fund upgrades to border management equipment, improvements to cyber security, and enhancements to border operations in the field.
Ukraine has been hit with repeated cyber attacks throughout the conflict, with Russian hacking groups also targeting US and allied computer networks to gather intelligence.
Other support measures announced as part of this latest support package include:
- Duty-free access for Ukrainian imports to Australia, complementing similar trade measures taken by our partners, including the UK and the EU
- To intervene at the International Court of Justice in support of Ukraine in its case against Russia
- Targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on 16 additional Russian ministers and oligarchs
- To prohibit imports of Russian gold to limit its capacity to fund the war, building on bans from Canada, Japan, the UK and the US
These latest announcements were made following Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s visit to Kyiv, where he met with President Zelenskyy as a gesture of support for the nation’s ongoing resistance.
The Prime Minister visited sites devastated by attacks from the Russian onslaught.
“Russia’s brutal invasion is a gross violation of international law. I saw first-hand the devastation and trauma it has inflicted on the people of Ukraine,” Prime Minister Albanese said.
“My visit to Kyiv and recent visits by other world leaders sends a clear message that democratic nations like Australia will stand side-by-side with the Ukrainian people in their time of need.”
The Prime Minister went on to laud the efforts of President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine.
“President Zelenskyy’s leadership has rallied the Ukrainian people to defend their country and inspired the world to support humanity and freedom,” he said.
“The road ahead is hard but I am confident Ukraine will prevail.”