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Australia announces $126 million expansion of training program for Ukrainian troops

by Nate Ostiller December 14, 2023 11:54 AM 2 min read
A member of the Australian Defense Forces speaks to Ukrainian soldiers as they take part in a training session in the U.K. on Feb. 1, 2023. (Ben Birchall /Pool /AFP via Getty Images)
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The Australian Defense Ministry announced a 186 million AUD ($125.6 million) expansion of a training program for Ukrainian troops on Dec. 14.

The program, called Operation Kudu, is managed by the Australian Defense Forces and entails the deployment of Australian servicemen to multinational training missions in the U.K. for Ukrainian soldiers.

Australia's involvement in the larger-U.K. mission to train Ukrainian soldiers began in January 2023, when 70 Australian soldiers were deployed in the U.K. as combat instructors. Since then, the instructors have trained 1,200 Ukrainian soldiers.

The next rotation will see 90 Australian instructors deployed in the U.K., with their instructional purview expanded.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said in an interview on Dec. 14 that the government would spend $125.6 million on the program over two years.

“We are proud to expand Australia’s support for Operation Kudu, a mission that cements international solidarity for Ukraine," Marles said.

“Our growing commitment to the multinational training mission affirms our pledge to provide meaningful and relevant support to the government and people of Ukraine.”

The ministry said that as of Dec. 14, Australia has provided 910 million AUD ($609 million) in assistance to Ukraine, including 730 million ($488 million) in military support.

More than 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been trained as part of the larger U.K.-run program.

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