Brits train Ukrainians in England

Ukrainian Soldiers Train for the Frontlines on British Soil


KENT, England — A commander barked orders to Ukrainian recruits. A group of new soldiers wearing fatigues traversed a street strewn with grenade canisters, burning debris and overturned cars. A wounded man was brought out on a stretcher, moaning.

The battle that unfolded on Monday was a training exercise, led by a British commander who was flanked by a Ukrainian translator as he directed recruits through a mock village in southeast England. It was designed to resemble the scenes of destruction unfolding on the front lines of Ukraine more than a thousand miles away.

The initiative, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in June, began with more than a thousand British soldiers from the 11th Security Force Assistance Brigade, which specializes in training foreign militaries. About 2,000 recruits have completed the program and returned to Ukraine, British officials said.

The Ukrainians who gathered on Monday were part of a group of several hundred who had been flown in by British military planes and brought to an army base in Kent, a windswept corner of southeast England where British forces previously prepared for operations in Northern Ireland.

While the new effort focuses on basic infantry training for civilian recruits, Britain has also trained hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers in England in using more complex weaponry, like the multiple-launch rocket systems it has supplied to the Kyiv government.…


P.S. - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden — have pledged to join the effort, which is in effect a retooled version of Operation Unifier, an international training initiative that began in 2015. In that program, troops from the United States, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Poland and Sweden, among other nations, trained about 35,000 Ukrainians.