The UK has been increasingly open about, and hawkish in its support of Ukraine’s armed forces, as I wrote of here, last month:
After a slight lull in previous weeks, this last week we saw a return to Ukrainian shelling, and killing civilians in Donbass. Here, Patrick Lancaster reports –
And the UK picked this week, the 17th, to announce they are increasing their backing of Ukraine’s military. Full statement here. UK extends training of Ukrainian Armed Forces
“The UK is expanding its training of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with new military courses covering threats like countering attacks from snipers, armoured vehicles and mortars.
Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon meets Ukraine Defence Minister, Stepan Poltorak at the Ministry of Defence in London.
Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon meets Ukraine Defence Minister, Stepan Poltorak at the Ministry of Defence. Crown copyright.
The Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has confirmed this will provide Ukrainian personnel with enhanced skills to protect themselves against these threats – a key cause of injuries and fatalities – now and into the future in the Donbas.
Since the beginning of the Donbas conflict in March 2014, 2,700 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and a further 10,000 injured. 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 also announced that the UK has directly trained over 5,000 members of Ukraine’s Armed Forces in 14 locations away from the Donbas.
Since 2015, over 1,300 British personnel have been deployed in support of Operation ORBITAL. Drawing from eleven different regiments, including two squadrons of reservists, they have been training the Ukrainian Armed Forces in a number of skills such as the identification of mines and IEDs, medical care and logistics. Last year, Sir Michael confirmed that the training mission will continue until at least early 2018.
The new training elements confirmed today will be rolled out later this year.”