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POLITICS

Ukraine receives extra French long-range rocket systems

Ukraine said on Tuesday it had received a multiple rocket launcher system from France adding to the arsenal of long-range artillery credited with changing dynamics on the battlefield against Russia.

Ukraine receives extra French long-range rocket systems
The French LRU unitary rocket launcher, pictured during a Bastille Day parade in Paris. Photo by PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP

“LRU from France have arrived in Ukraine! The Ukrainian army is now even more powerful,” Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov tweeted, thanking French president Emmanuel Macron and armed forces minister Sébastien Lecornu.

The French-provided LRU is the fourth variety of sophisticated rocket-launcher system (MLRS) — after HIMARS, M270 and MARS II — to be supplied to Ukraine to help Kyiv battle Russia’s invasion.

It has a range of around 70 kilometres.

Ukraine in recent months has been using the Western-supplied systems to hit command stations and ammunition depots deeper into Russian-controlled territory than its own arsenal would allow.

Kyiv is asking for more long-range weapons to sustain steady progress on the battlefield and air defence systems to avert waves of Russian strikes.

Two weeks ago, Lecornu announced the delivery of two French LRU to Ukraine in an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche.

Lecornu said France would also send two batteries of Crotale air defence systems and was “looking into a request from Ukraine for radars that are crucial to detect strikes upstream.”

France is also planning to take 2,000 out of the 15,000 soldiers the EU promised to train.

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STRIKES

French unions announce new strike dates in battle against pension reform

After a second day in which more than a million people took to the streets of France to protest over planned pension reform, unions have announced further strike days.

French unions announce new strike dates in battle against pension reform

France’s eight main trades unions federations made a joint announcement on Tuesday night of fresh strike days – Tuesday, February 7th and Saturday, February 11th. 

Tuesday marks the day that the highly controversial pension reform – which includes raising the pension age from 62 to 64 – is presented to the French parliament for the first time.

Both days are likely to see significant disruption, particularly on public transport.

The mass strike on Tuesday saw trains and city public transport services heavily disrupted, while many schools closed as teachers walked out.

Demos held in towns and cities across France saw a huge turnout – more than 1.1 million people, an increase on the turnout on the first day of pension strikes.

READ ALSO ‘We won’t stop until Macron is defeated’ say French pension demonstrators

You can find all the latest news on strikes and service disruptions in our strike section HERE.

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