Ukrainian troops are in the UK being trained on how to use the armoured vehicles Britain is supplying to repel Vladimir Putin’s forces, Boris Johnson has said.
More than 20 soldiers arrived last week for training on the 120 vehicles being supplied to Volodymyr Zelensky’s resistance, an official confirmed.
As well as being trained on the Mastiff, Wolfhound and Husky armoured vehicles, the Ukrainians will be shown how to use the Samaritan ambulance, and Sultan and Samson armoured reconnaissance vehicles.
Mr Johnson confirmed for the first time that Ukrainian forces were in the UK to journalists travelling with him in India, where he will press for a loosening of ties with Russia.
“I can say that we’re currently training Ukrainians in Poland in the use of the anti-aircraft defences and actually in this country (the UK) in the use of the armoured vehicles,” he told reporters.
Further Ukrainian forces are expected to be making their way to the UK for training in the future.
The Prime Minister’s press secretary said “a couple of dozen” Ukrainians were currently in the UK for training.
Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “We are moving in conjunction with our allies providing new types of equipment that perhaps the Ukrainians wouldn’t have had previous experience on. So it’s only sensible that they get the requisite training to get the best use of it.”
He downplayed concerns the move could be seen as escalatory by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We’re always conscious of anything that’s perceived to be escalatory but clearly what’s escalatory is the actions of Putin and his regime,” the spokesman said.
“We’re simply working together with our allies to give Ukraine the tools to defend themselves.”