UK Defence Secretary announces extension of training mission to Ukraine
Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom Ben Wallace announced on November 4 that the UK would be extending its training mission to Ukraine by three years until March 2023.
Operation Orbital, the UK's training mission to Ukraine, was established following the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, in a demonstration of the UK's unwavering support to Ukraine. UK personnel have now trained over 17,500 members of the Ukrainian armed forces since the start of Operation Orbital in 2015, GOV.UK reported with reference to the Ministry of Defence.
In September, Wallace travelled to the east of the country where he visited the frontline of the conflict and met with Ukrainian military commanders.
"My recent visit to the Donbas region made clear not only the costs inflicted by Russian-backed separatists [sic!], but also the resolve the Ukrainian Armed Forces have demonstrated in defending their territorial integrity," Wallace said. "That is why we are extending our training mission to Ukraine for another three years – so we may train thousands more Ukrainian personnel and continue to make a difference."
The Defence Secretary also underlined the UK's support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in meetings with his newly appointed counterpart Andriy Zagorodnyuk.