British forces train Ukrainian soldiers for fight against Russia

British forces train Ukrainian soldiers for their fight against Putin’s war-machine: First of 10,000 recruits arrive in UK to be taught weapon and battlefield skills to help in war against Russia

  • A cohort of new recruits to the Ukrainian army began training in the UK this week
  • The MoD programme aims to train up to 10,000 Ukrainians in the coming months
  • Training started on Thursday at a base in Manchester and will last several weeks 

Ukrainian soldiers being trained by British forces to help them in their fight against Russia have arrived in the UK.

The first cohort in the UK-led military programme met with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on Thursday as they started their several weeks-long training, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

The programme will train up to 10,000 Ukrainians over the coming months.

New Ukrainian recruits are trained by UK army specialists at a military base near Manchester

In training: The programme will train up to 10,000 Ukrainians over the coming months

Mr Wallace said: ‘This ambitious new training programme is the next phase in the UK’s support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in their fight against Russian aggression.

‘Using the world-class expertise of the British Army we will help Ukraine to rebuild its forces and scale-up its resistance as they defend their country’s sovereignty and their right to choose their own future.’

Mr Wallace said the UK will have trained 10,000 Ukrainians by the end of the programme’s first phase.

Wallace said the goal was to ‘make sure the soldiers are the best,’ and also spoke to the Ukrainian troops himself, laughing and telling them to ‘have patience with the British food.’

The soldiers, aged between 18 and 60, are receiving a heavily compressed version of the 28-week Combat Infantry Course taught at the British Army’s Infantry Training Centre in Catterick.

Around 1,050 UK service personnel are being deployed to run the programme, which will take place at MoD sites across the North West, South West and South East of the UK.

The training will give volunteer recruits with little to no military experience the skills to be effective in frontline combat.

Based on the UK’s basic soldier training, the course covers weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics and the Law of Armed Conflict.

‘Training matters,’ Mr Wallace said in an interview during his visit.

‘When you’re in a war and you’re against Russia, you need to make sure that you can be the best you can be, and that this is the process we’re doing here.

New recruits to the Ukrainian army are trained by UK army specialists at a military base

He added: ‘Many recruits had never touched a weapon before. If the Ukrainians ask for more, we’ll be open to more.’

Asked how many, he said: ‘We could do thousands and thousands.’

British trainers said the motivation levels of the Ukrainians were extraordinary, with the new troops working from 6am until 10.30pm every day, seven days a week, according to Sky News. 

The Government has also procured AK variant assault rifles for the training programme, meaning Ukrainian soldiers can train on the weapons they will be using on the front line.

This was supported by the Welsh Guards, who tested more than 2,400 such rifles in 17 days to ensure they were ready for the Ukrainians to commence their training.

The UK has also gifted clothing and equipment to support Ukrainian soldiers in their training and deployment back to Ukraine.

In training: A Boeing H-47 Chinook helicopter transports new recruits of the Ukrainian army being trained by UK military specialists to the training camp, near Manchester, England

Pictured: Defence Secretary Ben Wallace speaking to new recruits to the Ukrainian army who are being trained by the UK armed forces personnel at a military base near Manchester, UK

Each soldier will be issued with personal protective equipment including helmets, body armour, eye protectors, ear protectors, pelvic protection, and individual first aid kits.

They will also be issued with field uniforms and boots, cold and wet weather clothing, bergens, day sacks and webbing.

The UK has a long history of supporting Ukrainian service personnel through Operation ORBITAL, which trained 22,000 Ukrainians between 2015 and 2022.

The MoD says new programme will build on this success and demonstrate the UK’s continued leadership in responding to Ukraine’s military requirements as the war evolves.

It is the latest package of support from the UK, worth more than £1.3 billion, which has seen Britain send thousands of anti-tank and anti-air missiles, artillery and other equipment to Ukraine. 

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