Netherlands Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren has confirmed plans to offer continued support to bolster Ukrainian armed forces against Russia. 

The minister lauded the commitment of Ukrainian recruits and the Dutch troopers involved in training them.

As part of the British-led Operation Interflex, as many as 10,000 new and experienced soldiers are being trained to be battle-ready.      

In this regard, 90 instructors from the Dutch military are working with troops from Canada, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, and Sweden to reinforce the British armed forces in its efforts.   

Dutch army soldiers from the Oirschot-based 13 Light Brigade are currently supporting the recruits in several aspects including tactical training, shooting and weapons training, handling explosives, and medical care.

The Ukrainian recruits are also trained on humanitarian law of war and countering cyber threats.

Two staff officers have also been deployed to support the British staff under the five-week training programme.

Ollongren said: “Normally, such training takes several months. It is therefore very intensive, both for the participants and our trainers, who are busy from early in the morning until late at night.”

The minister noted that instructors from the Netherlands’ Marine Corps will take part in Operation Interflex from January to March next year to train two more batches of Ukrainian soldiers.  

The International Security Budget is funding the deployment of the 13 Light Brigade and the Marine Corps. It is projected that the current and future deployments are set to cost over €7m.

Ollongren added: “The cabinet considers it of great importance to continue to provide active support to the reinforcement of the Ukrainian armed forces as long as the war continues.

“The aim is to strengthen and modernise the Ukrainian armed forces through this large-scale training so that they can defend themselves against Russian aggression.”