UK trains Ukrainian soldiers to operate Challenger 2 main battle tanks in South-West England as part of ongoing support to Ukraine.
Press Release, Whitehall, 22 February 2023: Training on UK Challenger 2 tanks for Ukrainian soldiers is continuing at pace in the South-West of England after the UK committed to provide 14 vehicles and accompanying ammunition to support Ukraine’s defence.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace visited the training site today to meet the UK trainers and Ukrainian soldiers. Lasting for several weeks, the programme sees experienced Ukrainian soldiers learn how to effectively operate the tanks in combat conditions.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “It is hugely inspiring to come and witness Ukrainian soldiers being trained on British Challenger 2 tanks. Their resilience and determination to succeed for the liberation of their country sends a powerful message to Russia.
“Ukrainians will continue to fight, and the UK, alongside our Allies will not falter. We will continue to provide the capabilities needed to support Ukraine for as long as it takes. President Putin’s speech yesterday demonstrated just how dangerous to our security Russia has become.”
The UK was the first country to provide Ukraine with modern Western main battle tanks and paved the way for other countries to donate their own vehicles. Support to Ukraine from the international community has been unwavering since Russia’s full scale invasion nearly a year ago, on 24 February 2022. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have been equipped with a range of capabilities to help them defend their territory including anti-tank weapons, armoured vehicles and air defences.
The training of Ukrainian soldiers, alongside the gifting of equipment, has been vital to Ukraine’s defence, ensuring that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have the knowledge and capabilities they need to repel Russia’s illegal and ruthless invasion.