Today, I am pleased to update the House with further details on the UK-led training programme of Ukrainian armed forces announced by the Prime Minister on his recent visit to Kyiv.
In response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the UK Government is providing £2.3 billion of military aid to Ukraine. Included in this is a commitment to spearhead an innovative programme which aims to train up to 10,000 new Ukrainian recruits in the UK.
The first rotation of Ukrainian soldiers has recently arrived in the UK. Training will take place on military training areas across the North East, South West and South East regions. The training will be conducted by elements from 11 Security Force Assistance Brigade.
These Ukrainian soldiers will undertake courses based on the UK’s basic soldier training. This includes weapons training, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics and training on the Law of Armed Conflict. Each course will last several weeks. I have informed Honourable Members whose constituencies include the bases being used for this training programme about local arrangements.
Our ambition is to increase the scale and frequency of these courses, in line with Ukrainian requirements. We are also discussing with international partners options to broaden involvement in the training programme, working constructively with countries prepared to support either by contributing trainers or providing equipment.
We expect the training package to evolve over time. I will keep Parliament informed of the outcomes of these initial courses and any plans to increase the programme’s scale or scope.
This activity is a priority for the Ministry of Defence as part of the UK’s unwavering efforts to bolster the capability of the Ukrainian armed forces and demonstrates continued UK leadership in responding to Russia’s war of aggression. I can reassure the House that the Ministry of Defence has received strong support from across Government for the non-military provisions required to support such a significant training programme.
While the training activity is being made public, some details will be kept confidential for security purposes.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords