British soldiers training new Ukrainian recruits in the UK said they were highly motivated and a pleasure to work with them in new footage obtained from the Ministry of Defence.
The new footage, obtained from the UK’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Friday, shows some of the new Ukrainian recruits learning how to use assault rifles.
The UK MoD said: ‘Ukrainian Army recruits have arrived in the UK this month where they are being given the skills to be effective and deadly on the frontline and defend their homeland.
In the footage, a British soldier by the name of Lance Corporal Lourens says: “I really want to get the message out to people that what these guys are doing, because I don’t think reality has set in on a lot of people at home or a lot of people.
“Like these guys are builders, plumbers, photographers and artists. They’re not soldiers, they’re people who have families and homes. But everyone here has volunteered to be here. “
Another soldier, identified as Captain Russon, says in the footage: “We were really pleasantly surprised at how enthusiastic and eager to learn they were.
“And we initially set our stand as I think maybe a little ambitious and we could potentially go back. to work with them.”
The images were also relayed by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Sunday, along with a statement saying in Ukrainian and English that “the AFU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] are grateful for the UK’s support and assistance.”
The statement also said: “The UK-led program has trained Ukraine’s armed forces, enabling them to step up their resistance as they continue to defend their nation’s sovereignty.
“The program is part of the UK’s enduring commitment to supporting Ukraine in its fight against the unprovoked invasion of the Kremlin.
‘Secretary of State for Defence, The Right Honorable Ben Wallace, who visited the training earlier, said: ‘This ambitious new training program is the next phase of the UK’s support to the Ukrainian Armed Forces in their fight against Russian aggression. Using the world-class expertise of the British military, we will help Ukraine rebuild its forces and step up its resistance as it defends its country’s sovereignty and its right to choose its own future.
“The UK has a long history of supporting Ukrainian military personnel through Operation Orbital which trained 22,000 Ukrainians between 2015 and 2022. The new program will build on this success and demonstrate the UK’s continued leadership in meet Ukraine’s military needs as the war evolves.”
Zenger News has contacted the UK Ministry of Defense and the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces for further comment, as well as the Russian Ministry of Defence, but had not received a response at the time of writing.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation.” Monday marks the 145th day of the invasion.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and July 18, Russia lost about 38,450 men, 1,687 tanks, 3,886 armored fighting vehicles, 849 artillery units, 248 multiple rocket launcher systems, 113 air defense systems, 220 warplanes. , 188 helicopters, 690 drones, 166 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 2,753 motor vehicles and tankers and 70 units of special equipment.
Other developments in the Russian-Ukrainian war:
President Volodymyr Zelensky has fired the head of Ukraine’s security services and its prosecutor general, saying more than 60 of their employees were “working against” the country in territories currently occupied by Russia.
Ukrainian military officials said Russia was preparing the next stage of its invasion after Moscow said its forces in Ukraine would increase military activities in “all operational areas”.
Ukraine said Russia appears to be preparing its units for an attack on the city of Sloviansk in the eastern Donetsk region.
The British Ministry of Defense said Russia was also strengthening its defensive military positions in the areas it currently occupies in southern Ukraine.
Britain’s MoD also said Russia had used the private military company Wagner to bolster frontline forces and to mitigate troop shortages and casualties. The MoD believes Wagner played a key role in recent fighting, including the capture of Ukrainian towns, but it also said the fighting inflicted heavy casualties on the group, causing them to lower their recruitment standards.
The UK MoD also said Wagner’s chief, Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, was recently named a Hero of the Russian Federation for Wagner’s performance in Lugansk. The Ministry of Defense said that this took place “at a time when a number of very high-level Russian military commanders are being replaced” and is therefore “likely to exacerbate the grievances between the army and Wagner. It is also likely to have a negative impact on Russian military morale.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is traveling to Azerbaijan in a bid to secure a supply of natural gas for the EU as the bloc tries to reduce its dependence on energy supplied by Russia.
The EU is also meeting to discuss increasing sanctions against Russia.
This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.