Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union back in 1991, and since then, has enjoyed a renaissance in its culture and national identity. That is why after Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, Britain has been leading the way in supporting the Ukrainian people against Putin's aggression.
Early efforts to train the Ukranian military as part of Operation Orbital focused on capacity building, which enhanced the ability of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to be an effective fighting force and stand up against Russia. We have so far trained over 22,000 Ukranian forces in essential skills such as;
- Infantry fighting skills
- Medical and survival training
- How to counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
- How to conduct warfighting in an urban environment
- Planning military operations
- How to counter attacks from snipers, armoured vehicles and artillery/mortars
- Training combat engineers to be effective under fire
In 2020, we united international partners to rally behind Ukraine and also provide additional training. This was again led by Britain and included countries such as Sweden, Canada and Denmark. It was an example of brilliant foresight that helped to prepare Ukraine for war when most of the international community was still in denial about the threat from Russia.
This expanded even further in December 2021, when Britain was the first western nation to announce that we would begin supplying weapons to Ukraine, and deploy extra personnel to the region to make sure that they were trained on how to best utilise these assets.