Ukraine: Air raid sirens sound in Kyiv on Christmas Day
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Britain has trained almost 10,000 Ukrainian military recruits in a huge breakthrough for Kyiv’s fighting force. Ukrainian troops are now being taught how to win trench warfare against the Russians. This comes as a war of attrition has emerged with the arrival of winter in Ukraine, with many battles descending into the trenches.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Britain’s military had helped turn the tide of the war with their expert training.
He also compared Russia’s scorched earth tactics to the “battles of World War One”.
In 2023, a new British-led Operation Interflex training in the UK is expected to train at least 15,000 Ukrainian warfighters.
Mr Wallace vowed to train another 10,000 Ukraine volunteers next year and step up “lethal aid” after Britain sent thousands of anti-tank, anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, armoured vehicles and Sea King helicopters.
The Defence Secretary said: “Having put almost 10,000 through their paces in the UK in 2022, my ambition is for our Armed Forces – alongside our allies – to at least double the number trained in 2023.”
The British training involves teaching the brave Ukraine recruits the principles of horrific trench warfare.
Troops also learned battlefield first aid, infantry tactics, and how to clear enemy trenches – where bloody close-quarter battles are fought.
Ahead of the brutal winter months, Britain also sent thousands of winter uniforms to keep soldiers warm in the freezing trenches.
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However, it is not just the British who are training the recruits in the UK.
Expert forces from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Australia have also helped train Ukraine’s forces at four UK camps, including in Cumbria and on Salisbury Plain.
The decision to train Ukraine’s forces in the UK only came in June this year.
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The need for well-trained troops comes as Ukraine President Zelensky said swathes of eastern Donbas were “soaked in blood” after months of non-stop slaughter.
His troops have won back more than half the ground Russia seized since February but fierce clashes are raging in eastern Donbas.
Trench warfare has been most visible in the key eastern Ukraine town of Bakhmut where neither Russian nor Ukrainian forces are able to make a significant breakthrough.
President Zelensky said: “Trenches in the Donbas change hands several times a day in fierce combat and even hand-to-hand fighting.
“Every inch of that land is soaked in blood. Roaring guns sound every hour.”
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