UK

Ukrainian soldiers put through their paces on British-led crash course

The UK has been training thousands of Ukrainian recruits using battle-proven British Army expertise.

Ukrainian soldiers have been undergoing training at an undisclosed location in the north of England – enrolled on a British-led five-week crash course.

They are learning everything from weapon handling, tactics, and trench warfare to battlefield first aid and the law of armed conflict.

Since June, the British Army and its international colleagues have overseen the training of 7,000 Ukrainians across four sites in the UK.

The first cohort of Ukrainian troops came to the end of their training in the UK back in July.

Ukrainian recruits have been flown in, kitted out with everything a soldier needs and put through their paces in a condensed version of what would ordinarily take a British recruit six months to achieve.

After the completion of the training they return to Ukraine, and they fight.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace visited the Ukraine troops training in the UK 15112022 CREDIT BFBS
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace visited the Ukrainian troops training in the UK.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace visited the training troops and spoke to Forces News about the UK's "enduring" support of Ukraine.

"We're not in it for a calculated win-loss, we're in it because what Russia is doing is challenging our values, the human rights, the rule of law, the international rule of law, and the very concept of the sovereignty of a country.

"We are in it to help Ukraine until they are successful and that support is enduring.

"Whether that is the software of how to do things which is what you see here, the training or whether it's hardware or whether it's just defence reform within Ukraine to make sure they can see through the winter and see into the long term."

Mr Wallace added: "We'll be there standing by them shoulder to shoulder."

British Army personnel are also providing training for junior commanders, something typically aimed at developing the battlefield leadership skills required by effective junior non-commissioned officers.

Ukrainian soldiers training in undisclosed UK location 15112022 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
Ukrainian recruits have been flown in, kitted out and enrolled on a British-led five-week crash course.

Training Delivery Unit Commanding Officier Lieutenant Colonel Jon Harris highlighted that the Ukrainian recruits have come from "all sorts of walks of life" before the UK training.

"Many of them (Ukrainians recruits), up until about 10 days or two weeks before getting here, were butchers, they were lawyers, they were doctors, they were internet analysts, all sorts of walks of life," he said.

Lt Col Harris added: "They come here and spend five weeks with us and what I expect to see at the end of the training, is 200 people leaving with the skills they need to survive, fight and win against Russia when they return to Ukraine."

The Defence Secretary believes that the training is also beneficial to the UK.

"We shouldn't forget 1,800 Ukrainians have lost their lives since 2014. To them, they have been at war ever since then. It wasn't just on February 24th.

"So they're bringing their skills, I've met today some platoon commanders who've been out on the battlefield, they're bringing their skills. And that's helping us as well, that's helping us modernise, so there is a mutual benefit here."