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Germany may hold more basic training for Ukrainian army recruits

“We have received more training requests as Ukraine continues to mobilize, in particular for basic training” Lieutenant-General Andreas Marlow, head of the EU’s special training command near Berlin, said in an interview on Thursday 27 June.
A Ukrainian soldier, illustrative image. Photo via Eastnews.ua
A Ukrainian soldier, illustrative image. Photo via Eastnews.ua
Germany may hold more basic training for Ukrainian army recruits

More Ukrainian army recruits could receive basic training in Germany from next year if Kyiv moves some further military education back to Ukraine, a German commander told Reuters, as the requirement for troops grows amid the ongoing war with Russia.

“We have received more training requests as Ukraine continues to mobilize, in particular for basic training which is mainly being done by Britain,” Lieutenant-General Andreas Marlow, head of the EU’s special training command near Berlin, said in an interview on Thursday 27 June.

This would likely affect collective training – involving entire companies or battalions – so far carried out in Germany and which follows basic training, he said.

Kyiv aims to handle more of the training itself to simplify logistics and allow troops to be available on the battlefield at shorter notice, he said. Spain conducts some training for Ukrainian troops, as does Poland.

Marlow’s Special Training Command (STC) is part of a European Union military mission set up in 2022 to train some 60,000 Ukrainian troops in various skills by mid-November 2024 to help Kyiv combat Russia’s invasion.

In Germany, instructors from 14 nations have been teaching troops to operate tanks or air defense systems such as Patriot and IRIS-T, while snipers, engineers, paramedics and drone operators learn their trades and IT experts are taught how to fend off hackers.

Moving training to Ukraine

Kyiv hoped to move collective training back home partly because teaching operational doctrine was more easily done by Ukrainians, and to speed up deployment of fresh troops, he said.

“Kyiv would have ready-to-use troops far more quickly available than if they attend training in Germany or Spain,” he said.

There was less need during emergencies to rush out soldiers who completed basic training, where recruits learn how to handle an assault rifle or administer first aid, Marlow said, “because they are not yet fully ready for action anyway.”

Basic training in Germany normally takes three months, but has been condensed for Ukrainians to six weeks because of the war.

Kyiv’s bid to move training back to Ukraine could spur ongoing discussions among NATO allies to send military trainers there. Earlier in June, France proposed that Western countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Poland, Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Denmark, and Sweden, join a coalition to send military instructors to Ukraine.

In addition, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskyi, announced back in May that France will send military instructors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian servicemen.

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