The Defence Secretary has announced further enhancements of the UK training programme for Ukrainian armed forces while visiting the country.
The latest additions to the UK training programme will see an increase the skills being provided, to include ground threat awareness, for example identifying mines and IEDs, defensive operations in an urban environment, operational planning, and engineering expertise.
The move will build on an existing programme of medical, infantry, logistics and tactical intelligence training which has so far been successfully provided to around 1000 Ukrainian troops since March, and is designed to increase the resilience of Ukrainian forces and reduce casualties.
Around 250 personnel will be trained in August alone in additional infantry, medical, and survival skills previously announced by the Defence Secretary during the NATO defence ministers meeting in June.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
Our training programme for the Ukrainian Armed Forces continues to be well-received and highly valued by troops and commanders in the east of the country. Since March, 13 UK training teams have deployed across 8 locations and we expect to have trained around 2,000 members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by the end of the year.
By adding further much-needed skills and stepping up the pace of our programme we can provide more and better training, improving the resilience of Ukrainian forces and further reducing casualties resulting from the on-going conflict.
The Defence Secretary made the announcement on a visit to Ukraine, during which he met with Prime Minister Yatseniuk and Defence Minister Poltorak to discuss the situation in the east of the country and the programme of support being provided by the UK and allies.
Mr. Fallon also discussed implementation of the Minsk ceasefire agreement, and called on all sides in the conflict to respect the terms of the agreement to bring an end to hostilities in the eastern Ukraine.
Following the bilateral meetings, the Defence Secretary visited a training site west of the capital Kiev, where UK military personnel are currently training Ukrainian troops far from the fighting in the east.
The Defence Secretary met UK trainers and Ukrainian personnel to see first-hand demonstrations of the infantry and medical skills being provided through the programme.