U.K.’s David Cameron urges greater defense spending among NATO members

British Foreign Minister David Cameron speaks during a joint press conference with French Foreign and European Affairs Minister in Paris on December 19, 2023. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP) (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

Miguel Medina | Afp | Getty Images

British Foreign Minister David Cameron urged NATO allies to commit more to defense spending and production as the coalition expands.

He will deliver a speech to that affect as NATO foreign ministers gather in Brussels.

“Seventy-five years after its creation, we are celebrating a NATO that has never been stronger or more important, especially following Sweden’s accession last month,” Cameron said in pre-prepared remarks published on the U.K. foreign office website.

“With Ukraine closer to NATO than ever, we must sustain the critical support Ukraine needs to win the war,” Cameron said. “Allies need to step up and spend more on defense in the face of continued Russian aggression and a more dangerous world.” 

— Natasha Turak

Ukraine shot down 4 Russian drones overnight, military says

Ukrainian air defenses shot down four Russian drones overnight in the eastern Donetsk region, the country’s military said.

“On the night of April 3, 2024, the enemy attacked the Donetsk region with three S-300 anti-aircraft guided missiles and launched 4 Shahed-136/131 UAVs from the Primorsko-Akhtarsk area of the Russian Federation,” Ukrainian state news outlet Ukrinform quoted the country’s air force as saying in a statement.

“Mobile fire groups” intercepted the Iranian-made Shahed drones in the regions of Khmelnytskyi, Zhytomyr, Kirovohrad, and Cherkasy, the statement added.

— Natasha Turak

NATO chief reportedly proposes 100 billion euro military aid fund for Ukraine

Ukrainian Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba (L) and Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) give a press conference following their meeting at Nato Headquarters in Brussels, on November 29, 2023, on the sidelines of a Nato Foreign ministers meeting. 

Simon Wohlfahrt | Afp | Getty Images

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday will reportedly propose a 100 billion euro ($107 billion) military aid fund for Ukraine, the duration of which would be five years.

The package would allow the transatlantic alliance to aid Ukraine more directly, Reuters reported, citing five unnamed diplomats.

— Natasha Turak

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy signs bill lowering mobilisation age for combat duty to 25

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine is speaking during a joint briefing with Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis outside the Transfiguration Cathedral, which was destroyed by Russian shelling, in Odesa, Ukraine, on March 6, 2024. 

Ukrinform | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has signed a bill to cut the mobilisation age for combat duty to 25 from 27, the parliament’s website showed.

— Reuters

Russia confirms new navy chief after Black Sea attacks

Alexander Moiseyev, the newly-appointed commander-in-chief of the Russian navy, pictured at the Arctic port of Severomorsk on May 13, 2021. 

Maxime Popov | Afp | Getty Images

Admiral Alexander Moiseyev was confirmed on Tuesday as the new head of Russia’s navy.

Moiseyev took on the role in an acting capacity two weeks ago. Local media reported that his predecessor, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, was fired following a series of successful Ukrainian strikes on Russia’s fleet in the Black Sea.

While Ukraine does not have its own navy, Kyiv has targeted Russian warships on the Black Sea multiple times since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in 2022, and last month claimed to have destroyed a Russian landing ship.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Moiseyev’s appointment on a conference call Tuesday, according to a Reuters report. He also presented the appointment of Vice Admiral Konstantin Kabantsov as commander of Russia’s Northern Fleet, and Vice Admiral Sergei Pinchuk as commander of the Black Sea fleet.

— Jenni Reid

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