Ukraine

Ukrainian sailors train on Royal Navy minehunter

Ukraine is set to receive two Royal Navy Sandown-class minehunters after a deal was struck between the UK and Ukraine last year.

Sailors of the Ukrainian Navy are being trained by their Royal Navy counterparts in Scotland.

The Ukrainians are learning how to operate Sandown-class minehunters as they prepare to receive two of the such vessels as part of a deal struck with the UK last year

"It's a professional privilege, really, to be working with the Ukrainian Navy, who are incredibly focused on getting the job done," the captain of the Royal Navy minehunter said.

Volodymyr Havrylov, Ukraine's Deputy Defence Minister, met with the UK's Armed Forces Minister James Heappey who travelled to the site where the training is taking place and met the trainees and their Royal Navy instructors.

"The intensity with which the Ukrainian soldiers and sailors are training is something to behold," Mr Heappey said.

"They work with the focus of troops who know they'll be fighting in a war in just a few short weeks' time."

Royal Navy personnel are leading the Ukrainians on weapon drills, damage control and how to operate machinery on the vessels.

Ukraine Deputy Defence Minister Volodymyr Havrylov and UK Armed Forces Minister James Heappey on minehunter off coast of scotland DATE UNKNOWN CREDIT MOD.jpg
Volodymyr Havrylov and James Heappey met Ukrainian navy and Royal Navy personnel on board of the minehunter as training took place (Picture: MOD).

The training will prove vital in helping open up shipping lanes from Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea, such as Odessa. 

About 80 members of the Ukrainian Navy are being trained on how to operate the counter-mine vessels.

"We are very grateful to the government and people of the United Kingdom for their invaluable contribution to Ukraine's success in repelling the Russian aggressors," Mr Havrylov said.

Mr Havrylov and Mr Heappey also visited one of the locations where Ukrainian soldiers are being trained in essential battle-winning skills in a major new UK-led military programme.

More than 1,000 UK service personnel are involved in the programme which is taking place at sites around the UK.

Each course will last several weeks and will be conducted by elements from 11th Security Force Assistance Brigade.

The Government is aiming to train up to 10,000 Ukrainian troops every 120 days, as part of an ongoing commitment to support Ukraine following Russia's invasion in February.

Earlier this week, the Defence Secretary said the first cohort of Ukrainian troops come to the end of their training in the UK this week