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Ukrainian troops are in the UK to be trained in how to use the armoured vehicles Britain is supplying to repel Russian forces, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
More than 20 soldiers arrived last week for training on the 120 vehicles being supplied to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s resistance, an official said.
They will be trained on the Mastiff, Wolfhound and Husky armoured vehicles, the Samaritan ambulance, and the Sultan and Samson reconnaissance vehicles.
Mr Johnson confirmed that Ukrainian troops were in the UK while he was on a state trip to India, where he will press for a loosening of ties with Russia.
“I can say that we’re currently training Ukrainians in Poland in the use of the anti-aircraft defences and actually in this country, [the UK] in the use of the armoured vehicles,” he said.
Mr Johnson's spokesman said “a couple of dozen” Ukrainian soldiers were in the UK, and more were expected for training in the future
“We are moving in conjunction with our allies providing new types of equipment that perhaps the Ukrainians wouldn’t have had previous experience on," the spokesman said.
"So it’s only sensible that they get the requisite training to get the best use of it."
He played down concerns that the move could be seen as escalatory by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We’re always conscious of anything that’s perceived to be escalatory but clearly what’s escalatory is the actions of Putin and his regime,” the spokesman said.
“We’re simply working together with our allies to give Ukraine the tools to defend themselves.”