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The UK has announced a new training initiative to ensure that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have the capability to fly Nato-standard combat aircraft in the future.
The announcement was issued by the British Prime Minister’s Office. It comes after a bilateral meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on 8 February.
During this meeting, Sunak confirmed that the country is preparing to expand the ongoing training initiatives to further include fighter jet training for Ukrainian combat pilots, as well as an immediate training programme for marines.
In addition, the UK will provide long range weapons that will further strengthen the Ukrainian forces’ defensive capabilities to deter Russia’s airborne attacks.
Sunak said: “I am proud that today we will expand that training from soldiers to marines and fighter jet pilots, ensuring Ukraine has a military able to defend its interests well into the future.”
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The UK has already completed the battle readiness training for nearly 10,000 Ukrainian troops in the last six months and is making efforts to upskill up to 20,00 more Ukrainian soldiers this year.
Recently, the country has also started training Ukrainian soldiers on how to use Challenger 2 main battle tanks, a few days after the UK announced that it would donate 14 of these tanks to Ukraine.
In addition, the two officials signed a UK-Ukraine declaration of unity to strengthen long-term defence and security commitments between the two nations.
Zelenskyy said: “We have agreed on a significant number of armoured vehicles, the supply of long-range weapons, and also, we have agreed to start training Ukrainian pilots.
“We signed a Declaration of Unity with Prime Minister, a document that sets out the principles of our cooperation and mutual support. Allied cooperation and mutual support.”