UK trains 30,000 Ukrainian military recruits

The UK has trained more than 30,000 Ukrainians to become soldiers in the largest military training programme of its kind on British soil since the Second World War.

The UK-led Op Interflex has reached the milestone of 30,000 recruits trained in the UK since June 2022 ahead of schedule. The total number of trained Ukrainian soldiers is now more than 52,000 since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in 2014.

The training was set up in the UK after Op Orbital, the British Army’s long term training programme in Ukraine, was paused when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The programme takes volunteer recruits who have joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine with little to no previous military experience and teaches them the skills required to survive and be effective in frontline combat.

The course is delivered over a minimum period of five weeks and includes weapons handling, battlefield first aid, Law of Armed Conflict training, patrol tactics and rural environment training.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President Zelenskyy visited Ukrainian forces training in the UK in February.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: "I am incredibly proud of all the British and Ukrainian soldiers, sailors, airmen and women involved in this major undertaking - their dedication and professionalism today is ensuring peace for our continent in the future.

"Op Interflex has changed the equation of this war, harnessing Ukraine’s spirit, courage and determination, and matching it with global military expertise.

"The crucial contribution of our international partners to this programme reinforces the global support for Ukraine and underlines our united belief that Ukraine can and will win this war.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Op Interflex’s size and ambition is unrivalled, the programme is a key example of how the UK can help galvanise the international community into supporting the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

"I’m delighted we will exceed the target for this year and thank the UK trainers and our international partners who have worked night and day to reach the milestone ahead of schedule. I also pay tribute to the determination and resilience of the brave Ukrainian recruits that arrive on British shores."

Image by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pixabay


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