Ukraine's armed forces need more mental health support and could benefit from the experience of the UK and US in Afghanistan and Iraq, ministers have been told, after hearing claims that an "astonishing" number of Ukrainian soldiers have died by suicide.
Conservative former minister Sir Iain Duncan Smith has called on the UK and US to provide mental health support for Ukraine's armed forces due to the two countries' experiences in the earlier conflicts.
Sir Iain's call for support came as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed in the Commons that the UK would be donating tanks to Ukraine to help it defend against Russia's invasion.
The UK has pledged to match 2022s support commitments to Ukraine in 2023.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed over the weekend that 14 British Army Challenger 2 main battle tanks and around 30 AS90 self-propelled guns would be sent to Kyiv.
In the Commons, Sir Iain said he had recently visited Ukraine while working with a charity, and heard calls for donations of more armoured ambulances and paramedics.
He said: "The third area they were keen on – and this is something that is shocking – is that the number of Ukrainian military committing suicide now as a result of battlefield stress is astonishing, they desperately need help.
"They did ask that the US and the UK – who have experience in Afghanistan, Iraq – could help by sending some people over to help train in those mental health practices."
The Defence Secretary replied that the surgeon general would visit soon "to see what more we can do to help those individuals especially suffering from the acute mental health challenges they have".
Mr Wallace added: "It is easy to forget that there are lots of Ukrainians suffering either post-conflict through the suicide or indeed just ordinary individuals.
"The tragedy is 10 months in – people get slightly immune to what they see on the telly and social media from what is really violence and destruction of a staggering scale."
Detailing the support package bound for Kyiv, Mr Wallace said: "Hundreds more armoured and protective vehicles will also be sent, including Bulldog, a manoeuvre support package including minefield breaching and bridging capabilities worth £28m, and dozens more uncrewed aerial systems worth £20m to support Ukrainian artillery.
"Another 100,000 artillery rounds on top of 100,000 rounds already delivered.
"Hundreds more sophisticated missiles, including GMLRS rockets, Starstreak air defence and medium-range air defence missiles.
The Defence Secretary also said he will review the number of Challenger 3 conversions to consider "whether the lessons of Ukraine" suggest the UK needs "a larger tank fleet".
Shadow defence secretary John Healey said the Government's first package of UK military assistance for 2023 "has Labour's fullest support".
"One of the clear lessons from the last year in Ukraine is that nations need to have large reserve stocks of certain weapons and ammunition, or the ability to produce them quickly.
"The UK has neither and we are still moving too slowly to replace the weapons donated to Ukraine or find new wartime ways of making weapons more rapidly and more cheaply," he added.