Royal Navy called in to train Ukrainian sailors how to fight at sea as Russia's war with Ukraine rages

UKRAINE’S naval forces are being trained how to fight at sea by the Royal Navy, it can be revealed.

By Tom Cotterill
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 2:53 pm

Eighty Ukrainian personnel are being instructed on the ins and outs of naval warfare by British minehunting crews amid the war with Russia.

Two Sandown-class minehunters – mothballed by the Royal Navy – are due to be sold to Ukraine.

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Ukraine's deputy defence minister Volodymyr Havrylov (right) as he visits a Royal Navy Sandown-class minehunter at sea off the coat of Scotland, to witness first-hand the training being provided to Ukrainian sailors.

Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Volodymyr Havrylov met with UK armed forces minister James Heappey and parliamentarians in London before visiting soldiers and sailors training in Scotland.

The ministers spoke with trainees and the Royal Navy instructors, observing them practicing key skills at sea, such as weapon drills and damage control, while learning to operate the machinery on the vessels.

Mr Heappey said: ‘The intensity with which the Ukrainian soldiers and sailors are training is something to behold. They work with the focus of troops who know they’ll be fighting in a war in just a few short weeks’ time.

‘Delivering training that matches that intensity and focus is not straightforward. The Royal Navy and the British Army are working long hours and drawing on all their operational experience to make sure their new Ukrainian friends are sent into combat with the best chance of victory.’

The training, which began in May, varies from two weeks to several months depending on the subject being taught.

The Royal Navy’s involvement in the training is part of a major new UK-led military programme, involving more than 1,000 UK troops – including Gunners from the Royal Artillery’s air defence base on Thorney Island.