Thursday, August 13, 2015

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announces UK will step up Ukraine training

With no one story dominating the headlines today, news of note for defence includes coverage of the Secretary of State’s visit to Ukraine, and announcement of further enhancements to the UK training programme for the Ukrainian armed forces.
In the papers there is coverage of the Defence Secretary’s trip to the Ukraine yesterday, where he described the conflict as a "red hot" war that shows no sign of ending soon while visiting Prime Minister Yatseniuk and Defence Minister Poltorak. Reporting is included in the Daily Telegraph, The Times, the Financial Times, Daily Mail, and The Independent, as well as on the BBC News website. The coverage focuses on the Defence Secretary’s announcement that Britain will step up the training of Ukrainian forces fighting Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country, and add further defensive infantry skills, such as detecting landmines, to help reduce casualties from the conflict. The papers say that the 18-month long crisis has not settled into a frozen war, and that Ukraine's eastern border is still at risk from Vladimir Putin. The Times suggests Russia is preparing for war with Britain and its NATO allies, according to an analysis of military exercises by a European think tank.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
Our training programme for the Ukrainian Armed Forces continues to be well-received and highly valued by troops and commanders in the east of the country. Since March, 13 UK training teams have deployed across 8 locations and we expect to have trained around 2,000 members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by the end of the year.
By adding further much-needed skills and stepping up the pace of our programme we can provide more and better training, improving the resilience of Ukrainian forces and further reducing casualties resulting from the on-going conflict.

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