Russian forces continued to exploit a window of opportunity to make small, tactical gains during the past week, as Ukraine began to receive parcels of long-delayed US military aid for the first time in weeks.

Ukraine also reported that Russia was building up worrying numbers of troops on its northern border, and prepared to face a potential new front.

Against this tense background, Europe sought to boost Ukraine’s own defence industrial base to ensure political problems among its allies never interfere with weapons deliveries again.