UK Extends Ukrainian Armed Forces Training Programme

The UK’s commitment of training Ukrainian Armed Forces is being expanded, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has said.

New military courses will deal with countering threats from snipers, armoured vehicles and mortars.

The number of British forces in Ukraine will not increase as a result.

The Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon confirmed the training will provide Ukrainian personnel with skills to protect themselves from the key causes of injuries and fatalities – now and into the future in the Donbas.

The Donbas conflict began in March 2014, resulting in the deaths of 2,700 Ukrainian servicemen and a further 10,000 injuries. 128 UAF have been killed this year alone.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “We continue to stand side by side with our Ukrainian friends in the face of Russian belligerence and aggression.

“This training, defensive in nature, will help protect Ukrainian troops against the threats that they face on a daily basis.

“By stepping up our training programmes we are sending a clear message that we support the people of Ukraine and are firmly committed to its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”

Last week, Sir Michael announced that the UK has directly trained over 5,000 members of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

Over 1,300 British personnel have been deployed in support of Operation ORBITAL since 2015.

Previous training has focused on skills such as the identification of mines and IEDs, medical care and logistics.

It was confirmed last year that the training operation will continue until at least early 2018.

The training announced today will begin later this year.

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