The grueling five-week program, focusing on basic military skills took civilians from all walks of life, with little to no previous military experience and trained them in the skills required to survive and be effective for service on the frontline with the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). 

UK military trainers and partner instructors from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Lithuania trained new inductees into the AFU on weapons handling, first aid, patrol tactics and operations in rural environments.

Ukrainian recruits run across grassy English fields during training

The UK Secretary of Defence,  Ben Wallace said in a statement: “The determination and resilience of the Ukrainian recruits that arrive on British soil, from all walks of life, to train to fight alongside our British and international forces, is humbling to witness.

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“The program has been extended and is on track to train the pledged 30,000 recruits by 2024,” the statement said.

Ukrainian officers and non-commissioned officers serving in combat units have told Kyiv Post that those who have received “British training” are widely respected across the AFU. A sergeant in 80th Air Assault Brigade told Kyiv Post in a late 2022 conversation the British training’s greatest benefit is that soldiers who have gone through the instruction “don’t think Soviet, they think NATO”.

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Britain has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters in its war with Russia. The UK Government has provided the equivalent of $5.73 billion worth of military aid to Ukraine including 10,000 anti-tank missiles, 100,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, self-propelled and towed howitzers, and air defense systems. 

London has also led the way in transferring advanced weapons systems to Ukraine, being the first nation to arm Ukraine with a fully modern, western tank, the Challenger 2. The Anglo/French Storm Shadow cruise missile was, via the UK, the first and to date only state-of-the-art, long-range, precision-guided strike weapon given Ukraine by any of its allies.

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