In a recent Parliamentary Written Question and Answer, John Healey MP inquired about the number of Ukrainian personnel trained under Operation Interflex since its start.

James Heappey MP, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence and Minister for the Armed Forces, responded by highlighting the UK’s significant role in training Ukrainian forces.

He revealed that over 34,000 Ukrainian personnel have been trained in the UK under Operation Interflex since its inception in June 2022. Additionally, he noted that the UK has trained more than 60,000 Ukrainians since the launch of Operation Orbital in 2015, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014.

This information was detailed in the referred-to Parliamentary Written Question and Answer, shown below.

John Healey (Labour – Wentworth and Dearne):

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Ukrainian personnel have been trained under Operation Interflex since its inception.”

James Heappey (Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Minister for the Armed Forces):

“The UK continues to deliver a major training operation for Ukrainian forces, with over 34,000 Ukrainian personnel trained in the UK under Operation INTERFLEX since it commenced in June 2022. The UK has trained more than 60,000 Ukrainians since Op ORBITAL was launched in 2015 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014.”

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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PaulW
PaulW
2 months ago

For comparison, how many British Army were trained in the same period? So what percentage of capacity do the figures represent?

George
George
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulW

I would ask how many of those 60,000 are alive and still have all four limbs?
If reports are to be believed, Ukraine has lost between four and ten times that number. With millions having fled the country, heading for safety in western countries and Russia. .

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
2 months ago
Reply to  George

No one heads for safety in Russia. Not even Russians.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
2 months ago
Reply to  George

It’s horrific the losses. Russia really needs to withdraw and stop the madness.

George
George
2 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Ethnic Russians do.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
2 months ago
Reply to  George

As in the Ukrainians, I would assume from your previous posts, should withdraw… where?

George
George
2 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I think I understand what you are asking. My answer will require clarification. Please excuse the preamble. When the USSR lost the Cold War and disintegrated. Ethnic Russian people living within the oblasts allocated to the founding member republic of Ukraine. Voted overwhelmingly to become part of a new independent Ukrainian state. Such was enthusiasm for change and an escape from the horrors of marxist communism. Why some years later in 2014 did those same people come to regret the decision and vote to leave Ukraine? The answer to your question. They withdraw to an oblast where the majority is… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
2 months ago
Reply to  George

I agree with you on your summarisation of the situation during Soviet rule, though not with your categorisation of Ukraine as a “founder state” due to the inherently urban nature of Marxism. However, the central issue raised is that a sovereign state has had its territory invaded by a foreign power illegally. That is wrong whatever the ethnic makeup of the country. Your comparison with Yugoslavia is reasonable but misleading in that Ukraine is dominated by a largely similar Russia but with a distinct culture and national identity rather than irreducibly divided groups in a single nation. There are indeed… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  George

Interestingly there was very little evidence of significant tension between the Ukrainian and Russian ethnic groups in Ukraine…it was all fine right up until Putin started pouring flu onto the separatist movements ( that were quite frankly small groups of extremists and terrorists)…it actually took until around 2020 before Ukraine started to become less tolerant of Russian culture….which you can sort do understand when Putin had spent 6 years fighting a proxy war….even in 2022 a survey of Russian speaking Ukrainians in the areas of Ukraine controlled by Ukraine showed 80-90% of them did not feel oppressed etc and supported… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Jonathan
George
George
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It was reported by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and international media outlets stretching back to before 2008. I noticed them much later while researching the background to the annexation of Crimea. Mostly recorded as persecution of ethnic Russian, Roma peoples and LGBT by right wing groups. Karpatska Sich, C14 etc. Note records of persecution of none Ukrainians prior to 2014. Some of the reports are still available but many have mysteriously disappeared! As they support Putin’s exaggerated claims of attempted genocide. I suspect you already know this. “The most believable propaganda lies have a kernel of truth at their… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  George

Hi George I agree on the issues with minority groups other than Russian ..the reports prior to 2012 were not good with the government intrenched in Neo Nazi movements..but and this is the big one the hight of this was at the time a pro Putin pro Russian government was in place…this profoundly awful government was the one that was removed and triggered the Russian invasion in 2014…basically Putin invaded Ukraine the moment that horrible government was removed Putin invaded…there was never any opportunity to see if the new government would be Russophobia..as Putin just went to war with it… Read more »

BobA
BobA
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulW

Not really a strait comparison though. ORBITAL course is 6 weeks start to finish. Infantry training is 26 weeks. Normal Ph1 Common Military Syllabus is 14 weeks alone.

What this does show though, is the Army’s capacity to grow itself in an emergency – it is now very experienced in training a citizen army from scratch.

What the nation needs to do in addition though is work out the logistics of doing it for itself – where will the weapons, clothing and equipment come from?

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
2 months ago
Reply to  BobA

Hold on Putin give us a couple of years notice so we can be ready and trained!

BobA
BobA
2 months ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

Well that really highlights the importance of keeping Ukraine in the fight…

George
George
2 months ago
Reply to  BobA

Well said Bob. May I add the little mentioned effect of deliberately shrinking our armed forces. Has been the loss of most of our military industrial capacity. It takes far longer to train a skilled workforce, build hardened factories and establish secure supply lines. Logistics, logistics and logistics. There is a minimum manpower threshold for a nation like ours, to sustain a viable self perpetuating military force. It is the product of the size of armed forces and the minimum orders for the supporting industries to remain viable. Without the need to secure overseas orders. Call it the Goldilocks zone.… Read more »

Ali
Ali
2 months ago

We have less men in our current army then you could get fans to fill a football ground! Could we train this many for the British army, clearly yes. So why aren’t we? It would be nice to think our own Government took the clear threat seriously enough to increase the defence budget to 5%. Increase service pay to all ranks by 25% immediately. Allow and encourage those that have recently left to return and expand the Army to 1990 levels. It would send an immediate message to those that wish us harm and put us back to where we… Read more »

Arson Fire
Arson Fire
2 months ago
Reply to  Ali

I recommend you look up the state of our finances old chap.

George
George
2 months ago
Reply to  Arson Fire

Tough, so we stop giving money and aid to foreigners. Cut back on dubious things like zero carbon expenditure and invest heavily in our armed forces. Along with the indigenous strategic industries that support them. State owned industries if necessary. We cannot delay any longer.

Jonny
Jonny
2 months ago
Reply to  Ali

5% maybe in your dreams, realistically a target of 3% would be a good start

Andrew D
Andrew D
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonny

3% true ,but will we ever get there 🤔

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Ali

Get yourself on the Armed Force’s careers page then pal.

George
George
2 months ago
Reply to  Ali

Very well said. Just ignore the usual negative voices talking about money.

The first duty of government is defence of the realm. Therefore the first slice of the national pie must go to ensure we have the best possible armed force. The budget should be fixed between 7.5% and 10% of GDP. Except for emergencies and times like now when war is a real possibility that cannot be ignored. Then there is no upper limit.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
2 months ago

It would be even more comforting if we had trained at least that many UK troops!