4,700 Ukrainian soldiers trained all over UK, missions expanding
Ukrainian soldiers are undergoing military training in bases all around the UK, and the EU is currently urging for more extended training of soldiers to be deployed into Ukraine.
Since June, military bases in the north, southwest, and southeast of the UK have been set up to train Ukrainian personnel, with commanders intending to largely expand the training, according to Sky News, citing defense ministry sources. The new training mission will include instructors from eight other countries: New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Lithuania.
The Defense Ministry of the Netherlands disclosed that some 90 Dutch troops have direct involvement in the training of Ukrainian armed forces in the UK, but the US has also been providing training for Ukrainian soldiers when it comes to arms they are not accustomed to. However, these arms are still ending up on the black market. So far, the US has sent 16 HIMARS to Ukraine and pledged to send two NASAMS on July 1.
The program's duration is to be extended to five weeks with the first three dedicated to the UK's basic infantry training of weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, and patrol tactics. The two remaining weeks are to be assigned to more advanced training, that entails trench and urban warfare, vehicle-mounted operations, and combat simulation. Just last week, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that Ukrainian armed forces lost some 1,700 soldiers over the span of two days during Kiev's attempts to resume counteroffensives in Ukraine's south.
UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, according to Sky News, disclosed that the aim of the training is expected "to provide the best possible preparation for Ukrainian soldiers who will soon be in active combat operations". Additionally, the UK Ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, stressed last month that the West needs to supply enough weapons to Ukraine so that it can strategically change the situation in the long term, noting that the exact amount of aid is a "nonbinary" issue.
Following an informal meeting of EU defense ministers in Prague on August 30, EU Foreign Chief Josep Borrell said that there are several training initiatives on the way, "but the needs are enormous, and we need to ensure the coherence of these efforts. I can say that all member states agree clearly on that and on launching the work necessary to define the parameters for an EU military assistance mission for Ukraine".