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Over 30,000 Ukrainian recruits receive training in UK

by Martin Fornusek November 10, 2023 3:02 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers on February 23, 2023 near Salisbury, England, U.K. (Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
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More than 30,000 Ukrainian recruits have received training in the U.K. under the British-led Operation Interflex since June 2022, the U.K. Defense Ministry announced on Nov. 10.

This brings the total number of Ukrainian soldiers trained in the U.K. under Interflex and its predecessor, Operation Orbital, since the start of Russian aggression in 2014 to more than 52,000.

Interflex aimed to provide combat and survival skills to 30,000 Ukrainian volunteers with little to no military experience by the end of 2023, meaning this milestone was reached ahead of schedule.

The project is supported by 10 other partner countries, including Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Australia, and, since Nov. 10, Romania.

"I'm delighted we will exceed the target for this year and thank the U.K. trainers and our international partners who have worked night and day to reach the milestone ahead of schedule," U.K. Defense Minister Grant Shapps said.

"I also pay tribute to the determination and resilience of the brave Ukrainian recruits that arrive on British shores."

"We notice the greater fighting capacity of the servicemen and women of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who successfully completed the Interflex training course," said Major General Oleksii Taran, the head of the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces' training department.

"They have warfare and basic weapon handling skills, are trained to conduct combat operations in trenches and urban areas, have basic military medical training according to international protocols, and are knowledgeable about the Law of Armed Conflict," the general noted, also highlighting the recruits resilience under enemy fire.

The U.K. belongs to Ukraine's leading military donors, with $5.6 billion in defense assistance committed to Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion. The support provided by London to Kyiv includes Storm Shadow long-range missiles, Challenger 2 tanks, logistical support, and more.

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When the famous U.S. pop band Backstreet Boys released their signature hit “I Want It That Way” in 1999, they could hardly have imagined that nearly a quarter of a century later it would be used to help the Ukrainian military fight off a brutal invasion by Russia. But

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