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Estonia’s MoD says it trained 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers in two years

Estonia has trained over 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers, about one-sixth of the total number of its own conscripts, since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, per Estonia’s MoD. Training includes basic skills, artillery, sniping, and cybersecurity.
estonia ukraine
Estonian and Ukrainian flags. Credit: Estonia’s Ministry of Defense

Estonia has trained more than 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February of last year, which amounts to roughly one-sixth of the total number of Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) conscripts trained during that period, ERR reports, referring to the country’s defense ministry.

“We have trained over 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers since the start of the war. This mostly covers the basic skills course but also artillery and sniper training and cyber training,” the Estonian Defense Ministry’s spokesperson said, as per ERR.

Cpt. Taavi Laasik, press officer for the EDF Headquarters, said that the Estonian army also benefits from training Ukrainian soldiers.

“Exchanging know-how and experience is an important part of every course, and this is a two-way street,” Laasik said, adding: “The EDF is keeping a close eye on events in Ukraine and collects feedback and experience from Ukrainian units who are in Estonia for training purposes. The results are analyzed and used when developing our own training and activities.” 

Many European countries train the Ukrainian military. In November, the Council of the European Union revealed that it would allocate €194 million for the training of the Ukrainian Armed Forces under the European Union Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine), with a total of the EU funding for training the Ukrainian soldiers reaching €225 million.

In mid-November, the UK Defense Ministry reported that British forces had trained more than 52,000 Ukrainian troops, with 30,000 of them participating in the Interflex program, coordinated from London. Additionally, countries such as Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Australia, and Romania have utilized this program. However, some nations, like Poland and the USA, have opted for alternative training arrangements outside Interflex.

Also, more than 12,000 Ukrainian soldiers and instructors underwent training and professional development courses within NATO’s “Defence Education Enhancement Programme” (DEEP). 

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