Tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers have been trained across Europe for the war with Russia. French trainers say they are careful not to get close to the Ukrainian cadets over fears they will be killed on the frozen front lines. The AP reported that Ukrainian soldiers preparing for deployment have resigned themselves to the “grimness of the future.”
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, the US and its partners trained thousands of Ukrainian soldiers. Many of those troops have been killed along the relatively stagnant frontlines. Washington had pushed Kyiv to utilize high-casualty tactics even when the US accessed Ukraine was unlikely to make any breakthrough.
Members of the European Union are on pace to train 35,000 troops in 2023. 7,000 Ukrainians have learned battlefield manoeuvres from French instructors. Capt. Xavier, a French trainer, said it’s important not to get close to the trainees.
He explained, “You have to burn bridges because otherwise you ask yourselves too many questions. When you find out that this or that person is dead, you’re bound to ask yourself what you did wrong: ‘Did we work enough on this or that tactic? Should I have insisted more on this point?’”
According to the AP, the Ukrainian soldiers preparing to leave France for the battlefield are aware of the “grimness” that awaits them.
“With their return to Ukraine just days away, the grimness of the future that awaits the trainees at the French base was perceptible in the men’s determined, unsmiling looks,” the outlet reported.
As the conflict has dragged on and turned into a war of attrition, Kyiv has become increasingly desperate for men to conscript into its armed forces. The Ukrainians training in France were recently civilians, unprepared for war.
The UK has already long been engaged in a major training program out of bases in England…
30,000 Ukrainian recruits have now been trained on Op Interflex.— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) November 16, 2023
The UK package of support to Ukraine also includes training medics, chaplains, tank crews, and more.
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/7HmnPZY8e0
The French trainers have the troops engage in tracts while firing blanks and throwing training grenades. Additionally, the instructors place animal carcasses on the training field to get the soldiers familiar with blood and gore.