In the United Kingdom, in training centers for Ukrainian recruits

The first explosions sound on the right of the building, while bursts of gunfire are heard. Enveloped in wisps of smoke, the soldiers rush against the wall. One of them checks that the door of the house is not trapped, breaks it down, while he is covered by the other members of his military brigade. Another goes upstairs and waves a red rag at the window, marking the front line: behind him, the perimeter is secure; ahead, the enemy lies in wait. Stepping back a few meters, an instructor watches the scene, corrects the posture of a recruit, asks another to turn around so as not to be caught from behind. An Anglo-Ukrainian translator follows him running to pass on the orders.

This training session took place on Monday August 15, at a military base in the south-east of England – at the request of the British army, neither the exact location nor the names of the Ukrainian soldiers can be revealed. For this unit of the Ukrainian army, it is the fourth and last day of exercises in urban combat techniques, as part of a military training of a few weeks.

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On June 17, the British government announced the launch of a training program for Ukrainian soldiers in the United Kingdom. Two thousand of them have already benefited from it. London is counting on a target of ten thousand soldiers trained every three months, at cruising speed. In nearly three weeks, new recruits, who often have received no training, learn the basics of techniques adapted to the war in Ukraine: handling weapons, urban combat, trench warfare, emergency care for the wounded and law armed conflicts.

Ready to go to the front

Serhii is 25 years old and was still, in June, a young consultant in an IT company in Cherkassy, ​​a city in central Ukraine, 200 kilometers south of kyiv. “The first few months, I told myself that the conflict might not lasthe explains in good English, his face covered with a mask to remain anonymous and not to endanger his family. This is clearly not the case, and I had to do something to help end this war. » He expresses his revolt at the massacres committed by the Russian army. Like many of his compatriots, he enlisted, before being very quickly sent to this British military base for training. He, who had never touched a weapon in his life, now claims to be ready to go to the front, even if he “Fear of dying, of course”.

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