Nearly 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers are returning home with additional skills in amphibious operations after undergoing lengthy training with the UK military.
The UK Ministry of Defence announced last week that its Royal Marines and Army Commandos taught Kyiv’s forces how to carry out beach raids using inflatable boats.
They were also trained to use the Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW), Stinger anti-aircraft missile, reconnaissance drones, and various mortar systems.
The ministry said all weapons involved were similar to those Britain has donated to the war-torn nation.
“This program of training, delivered by elite British commandos, will support Ukraine to build its own distinct marine force and expand its capability to operate in a maritime environment,” British defense secretary Ben Wallace explained.
‘Making a Difference’
The six-month training was announced by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky‘s visit in February.
The trainees ranged from civilian volunteers with no prior military experience to soldiers not formerly members of the marine corps but which had been deployed on the frontline.
Each participated in rigorous activities to develop their skills, including fieldcraft, battlefield first aid, close-quarters combat, and unit planning in realistic scenarios.
One of the Ukrainian marines trained by UK forces said the training was “far more intense” than he expected.
“I have learned so much and never expected to be doing the things I have done. All the way through, our British instructors have been beside us, showing us how to move and how to work together in a small team – this will make a difference when we return home to Ukraine,” he said.
UK Remains Committed
The recent training reflects the UK’s commitment to helping its ally counter Russia’s aggression.
The UK said more than 20,000 recruits from Kyiv have received training in the UK since the invasion began in February 2022.
Earlier this month, 72 Ukrainian soldiers completed training on AS90 self-propelled artillery guns in southwest England.
British forces have also trained Kyiv’s medical personnel in battlefield trauma care, including lifesaving techniques like heavy blood loss control.