British special forces are providing training to Ukrainian soldiers in the war zone for the first time since Russia launched its invasion, according to a report by The Times, citing military commanders in Ukraine.
Officers from two Ukrainian battalions said that they had undergone military training, particularly in the use of British-supplied anti-tank missiles.
The UK has supplied 3,600 units of its Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons (NLAWs) to Kyiv since February. The weapon has been used to destroy Russian military assets, including an armored vehicle in the city of Irpin.
British soldiers have also trained Ukrainian soldiers in counter-sniper techniques, defending against heavy artillery, and fighting in urban areas.
“British officers were here two weeks ago in our unit and they trained us really good,” Captain Yuriy Myronenko told The Times UK. “And because we have had successes, we have self-confidence now.”
Military trainers from the UK were first sent to Ukraine after the invasion of Crimea in 2014. However, they were withdrawn in February to prevent direct conflict with Russian forces.
In addition to special forces, former British soldiers and marines are also reportedly in Ukraine working as training contractors and volunteers.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited war-torn Ukraine earlier this month and met his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The visit was meant to show the UK’s “unwavering support” for its fellow European nation amid Russia’s continuing military aggression.
Today I met my friend President @ZelenskyyUa in Kyiv as a show of our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine.
We're setting out a new package of financial & military aid which is a testament of our commitment to his country's struggle against Russia’s barbaric campaign. pic.twitter.com/KNY0Nm6NQ3
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 9, 2022
Johnson said that his government would do everything in its power to support Ukraine’s brave struggle against the “brutal and unprovoked” invasion launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24.
“I made clear today that the United Kingdom stands unwaveringly with them in this ongoing fight, and we are in it for the long run,” the prime minister said. “We are stepping up our own military and economic support and convening a global alliance to bring this tragedy to an end.”
The UK has pledged an additional 100 million euros ($107 million) in weapons for Ukraine, including Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles and 800 anti-tank missiles.