Ukrainian troops train to use armored vehicles provided by UK

Ukrainian troops train to use armored vehicles provided by UK

PM Johnson says Kiev soldiers are learning to operate APCs provided by Britain.

Ukrainian troops are training to operate armored vehicles provided by London to Kiev amid the conflict with Russia, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

Johnson revealed during his visit to India on Thursday that we are currently training Ukrainians in Poland in the use of anti-aircraft defense and in the UK in the use of armored vehicles.

He didn't say how many Ukrainian troops were currently in the UK or where exactly in the country they were located.

Defense sources tell the Guardian that training to operate military hardware usually takes a few weeks.

In April, the UK agreed to provide Ukraine with at least 120 armored vehicles, including 80 Mastiff, Husky and Wolfhound protected mobility vehicles, and 40 reconnaissance, ambulance, recovery and command armored vehicles.

Johnson spokesman insisted that training Ukrainian servicemen in the UK was not an escalatory move. He said that they are working together to give Ukraine the best tools to defend themselves. The spokesman said Kiev troops aren't familiar with Western hardware, so it's only sensible that they get requisite training to make best use of it.

With the Ukrainian conflict coming into its third month, NATO countries are boosting their supplies to Ukraine, offering it more advanced Western-made arms.

US President Joe Biden also announced on Thursday that there would be $800 million in military aid to Kiev, including 72 howitzers and 144,000 artillery rounds. The Pentagon said Ukrainian troops will be trained to use those howitzers outside the country. Russia has repeatedly pointed out that arms deliveries to Ukraine only destabilize the situation in the country and hamper the prospects of peace. Once they cross into Ukrainian territory, it insists that Western convoys will be a legitimate target for the Russian military.

Moscow warned Washington about the consequences of arming Kiev with increasingly sophisticated weapons earlier this week. The white house said it would not comment on an empty threat. Russia attacked its neighbor after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to take the two republics by force.