Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Third Ukrainian graduates with distinction from top UK military academy

by Artur KorniienkoDecember 13, 2021 3:29 pm
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Ukrainian officer cadet Pavlo Lacy (R) receives the International Sword award of the British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst from Princess Anne in Sandhurst, England on Dec. 10, 2021. (British Embassy Kyiv / Facebook)

For the third year in a row, Ukrainian cadets have graduated with honors from the British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, one of the world’s leading officer training academies.

This year, officer cadet Pavlo Lacy has been awarded the International Sword by the academy's commandant, marking him as the best foreign graduate in his class.

Lacy received the award from Princess Anne, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, on Dec. 10 at a ceremony after the Sovereign’s Parade that culminated 44 weeks of training for 200 hopeful military officers. This year's cadets came from 26 different countries outside the U.K., including Armenia, Ethiopia, Iraq and Uruguay.

After graduation, the international cadets return to their countries’ armed forces.

Lacy studied artillery intelligence at Ukraine’s Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi Ground Forces Academy, a school for infantry cadets in the western city of Lviv. The 20-year old comes from the city of Shostka in Sumy Oblast in eastern Ukraine.

Pavlo Lacy, the recipient of the International Sword award of the British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, poses for a photograph during the Sovereign’s Parade, the academy’s graduation ceremony in Sandhurst, England on Dec. 10, 2021. (British Embassy Kyiv / Facebook)

Another Ukrainian, Artem Baranenko, received Sandhurst’s International Sword in 2019. The following year, Ukrainian Anton Sovenko received the academy’s International Award as the foreign cadet with the best results in studies.

There have been 17 Ukrainians who studied at Sandhurst since 1997 when the academy started to accept cadets from Ukraine. It has trained other international cadets since 1947. Candidates are selected by the British Army Officer Selection Board and go through 44 weeks of rigorous training.

Sandhurst has a long list of famous alumni, such as former U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond. The academy also trained many members of the Royal Family, including princes William and Harry.

Artur Korniienko
Artur Korniienko
Culture reporter

Artur Korniienko is a culture writer at the Kyiv Independent. He previously reported on Ukrainian literature, art, music, film and social issues for the Kyiv Post, including the controversial Babyn Yar memorial and other development projects opposed by the community. In 2021, he ran a podcast about Ukrainian migrant workers for RFE/RL on the Vaclav Havel Fellowship in Prague. With a Master's in Journalism from the Ukrainian Catholic University, Korniienko had also worked as a freelance journalist and a TV correspondent.

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