British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace welcomed the first batch of what will be almost 10,000 servicemen
The first cohort of Ukrainian soldiers has arrived in the UK to undergo specialist military training, with up to 10,000 troops expected to take part in the program in the coming months. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace personally greeted the soldiers.
According to a statement released on Saturday by the British Ministry of Defense, earlier this week the Ukrainian military met with a senior military official.
Wallace assessed the training program as the next stage of UK support for the Ukrainian military.
“Using the expertise of Britain’s world-class military, we will help Ukraine rebuild its strength and build resistance as they defend their country’s sovereignty and their right to choose their future,– said the secretary.
According to the Ministry of Defence’s own estimates, London has so far spent more than £2.3 billion ($2.7 billion) on military aid “to support Ukraine in its fight against the unprovoked invasion of Russia.“
Around 1,050 British staff will be trained at a number of undisclosed locations across the UK, with each course lasting several weeks.
As noted in the ministry, the program is specially designed to “to give volunteer recruits with little or no military experience the skills to be effective in front-line combat.“
Areas of knowledge covered in the course include weapons handling, battlefield first aid, field skills, patrol tactics, and the law of armed conflict.
To ensure that the Ukrainian military is familiar with the weapons they will use during training, London “quickly purchasedAK type automatic machines. Other necessary equipment such as helmets, body armor, field uniforms and boots are also provided by the host country.
The statement noted that Britain “has a long history of supporting Ukrainian military personnel,” having trained about 22,000 troops between 2015 and 2022.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, referring to Kiev’s failure to comply with the Minsk agreements, which provide for the granting of a special status to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions within the Ukrainian state. Protocols mediated by Germany and France were first signed in 2014. Since then, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create a powerful armed force.“
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbas republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kyiv insists that the Russian offensive was absolutely unprovoked.