الأربعاء , يونيو 17 2020

British military trainers in Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier

British military personnel have started training members of the Ukrainian army fighting pro-Russian rebels, the BBC has learned.

The 35 trainers are working in the southern city of Mykolaiv and will spend about two months in the country.

They will be training forces engaged in battles in eastern Ukraine in medicine and defensive tactics, and supplying non-lethal equipment.

Russia has criticised the deployment saying it does not “strengthen trust”.

The deal was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron last month.

It is the first time a Western nation has conducted a long-term military training programme in Ukraine since its war against pro-Russian rebels began last year.

Ceasefire

A ceasefire took effect on 15 February following an agreement reached in Minsk, Belarus, and has largely held despite sporadic shelling.

The British government is also supplying first aid kits, sleeping bags and night-vision goggles as part of its pledge to provide assistance and more British teams are expected to arrive in Ukraine over the coming weeks.

BBC correspondent Tom Burridge said the deployment of dozens of military instructors was a symbolic move that would not alter the military balance of the war.

Dmitry Pveskov, press secretary to President Putin, told journalists: “A presence of foreign instructors in Ukraine cannot facilitate the settlement of the conflict in this country.

“Of course, it has been stated repeatedly that it does not contribute to the strengthening of trust or relaxation of tension in the conflict zone.

“It can be clearly said that it does not contribute to the settlement.”

The United States has already said it is planning to send a battalion to train three Ukrainian battalions.

More than 6,000 people have died since the fighting in Ukraine erupted last April, the UN has estimated, although the organisation believes the real figure could be considerably higher.

Map showing the battle lines in eastern Ukraine

شاهد أيضاً

COPTIC SOLIDARITY LAUNCHES URGENT CALL TO END CRIME OF FORCED DISAPPEARANCE OF COPTIC WOMEN IN EGYPT

A Coptic woman, Ranya Abd al-Masih (“servant of Christ”), 39, disappeared in Egypt on April 22, 2020, …