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'We see them as brothers in arms here': UK training thousands of Ukrainian recruits in England

It can be revealed that the UK has begun to transform up to 10,000 Ukrainian recruits in frontline soldiers at four bases across England. This is safe from Russian missile fire.

The new troops arrived from Ukrainedaily in order to take part in a condensed training program offered by British soldiers. The troops will then return to Russia to combat the invading Russian forces.

British commanders want to have 2,400 students enrolled in the course at any given time. They also aim to mobilize to train up to 10,000 Ukrainian personnel each 120 days.

The ability to produce manpower is crucial as Ukraine loses up to 200 soldiers per hour in the war with Russia. According to a senior officer, these are “battle casualty substitutes”.

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The UK runs the training program, which allows the recruits to learn from British soldiers. It also protects them against Russian attack.

One Ukrainian officer said that an airstrike hit a Ukrainian training facility as many trainees were preparing to travel to Britain.

The 26-year old lieutenant asked to remain anonymous, saying that he believed that a Russian military organization knew that we were going to the UK to study and prepare our soldiers.

Read more about the Army

The British soldiers were teaching 600 recruits basic infantry skills at a military training center in northwest England.

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Image: Ben Wallace, Defence Secretary visited the Ukrainian soldiers. Pic: UK MOD (c), Crown copyright 2022

Sky News and other news organizations were asked by the Ministry of Defence to keep the location secret, for security reasons.

On Thursday, Ben Wallace, the defense secretary and a possible contender for the next prime ministership, visited the site to meet with recruits and talk to commanders.

He said that training matters during the trip in an interview. “When you are in a war against Russia, it is important to train your troops. This is what we’re doing here.


“Many recruits hadn’t touched a gun before”

He indicated that the UK could offer training for more recruits than the 10,000 target.

Wallace stated that “If the Ukrainians want more, we’ll give more,”

When asked how many he could do, he replied: “We could make thousands and even thousands.”

The priority for the Ukrainian soldiers is speed, as they are at war with their country. They are becoming infantrymen much faster than any British peacetime recruits.

Basic infantry training for soldiers in Britain takes approximately six months. The Ukrainians will be able to complete the course in just a few weeks.

They learn a variety of skills including how to shoot straight and how to survive in open areas.

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The fight to demine Ukraine

Many of the recruits were between 18 and 60 years old, and had never held a gun before.

These were civilians who had made the decision to join military service in the last few days or weeks. The majority of recruits were men, but one unit was 20% female.

One of the new members was a 34-year old e-commerce manager.

The recruit, a father of one, said that he used to sit in his office and relax. He used to drink his coffee and do his routine every day. But, everything has changed since February 24, 2002.

“It took some time to ensure my family and my relatives were safe, but I’m now ready to stand up and do my best for everything that is important to me.”


“Extraordinary motivation levels”

British trainers claimed that the Ukrainians had extraordinary motivation, and they worked seven days a weeks from 6am to 10.30pm.

Sky News was able to see one group of trainees being instructed how to load AK rifles while another group learned how to fire live rounds on a range.

British instructors were accompanied by Ukrainian interpreters and gave orders to shoot at soldiers’ cardboard cutouts placed 200m away on a field.

“Ready!” One trainer shouted, as the recruits laid on the ground with their weapons pointed.

“Ten rounds, central targets, in your own fire time!” The trainer spoke, prompting the Ukrainians’ to let loose.

The second instructor stated that although their aim was poor at first, the majority of shots (about 80%) were hitting the right spot after a few days.

“For these guys, it is the first-time some of them have touched any weapon system so I would suggest they are either on equal or getting there,” said Lance Corporal Philip Lourens (28).

Image: Three RIFLES in the UK train Ukrainian soldiers Pic: (c),MoD Crown Copyright 2020

He took part in the training mission that the UK provided for Ukrainian forces before Russia’s all-out war.

The lance corporal indicated that he preferred to be in Ukraine again than work remotely.

He said, “One hundred percent.” “Unfortunately, it’s not up to me, but I would love the opportunity to go out there alongside them. They are brothers in arms to us. They would be brothers in arms wherever they are.”


Principle of “survive to adapt”

The ratio of trainer to instructor in the UK is approximately 1:10 or 1:15 — much more than what they would get in Ukraine.

Brigadier Justin Stenhouse, commander of the 11th Security Force Assistance Brigade is delivering the training.

It was crucial to teach the recruits how they deal with the main threats they face at the frontline in Ukraine, which are Russian artillery as well as trench warfare. This was why the course was built on the principle of “survive and adapt”, Brigadier Stenhouse stated.

He said, “So that they are learning offensive spirit and combat as quickly as possible in the first few week of combat, and they can actually trust their basic training that it will keep the them alive and allow to enter the fight,” he continued.

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