30 July 2023

Ukrainian troops fire UK-donated artillery to mark end of training

30 July 2023

Ukrainian soldiers fired UK-donated AS90 self-propelled artillery guns to mark the end of their training in south-west England.

Uniformed troops wearing ear defenders blasted rounds into the air as Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag was pictured flying above one of the artillery units on Thursday.

British Army instructors taught the 72 Ukrainian army personnel how to operate and maintain the guns when in combat, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

The photos were taken at the end of their seven-week training course and the troops will soon return home.

More than 1,000 UK service personnel have been involved in running the programme, taking place at MoD sites across the North West, South West and South East, as part of the UK Government’s support for Ukraine following its invasion by Russia in February 2022.

Training on the AS90 guns is taking at a specialist facility under the control of the Royal School of Artillery and is conducted by officers and soldiers of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, the MoD said.

Some of the newly-trained Ukrainian troops were experienced artillery soldiers while others had minimal or no military experience, it added.

The UK Government provided £2.3 billion of military aid to Ukraine in 2022 and has promised a similar amount this year.

It said it has supplied more than 10,000 anti-tank missiles, 100,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, more than one hundred anti-aircraft guns, self-propelled artillery, and trained more than 15,000 recruits.

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