Approximately 100 members of the Australian Defence Force are preparing to travel to the United Kingdom to assist in training Ukrainian military personnel in their ongoing conflict with Russia.
Under the expanded Operation Kudu, 90 ADF members will depart from Australia as part of the latest phase of military support. Unlike previous rotations, which involved sending 70 defense personnel at a time, the rotations scheduled for 2024 will now include 90 members at a time.
Acting Defence Minister Matt Thistlethwaite emphasized the crucial role played by the ADF as the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaches. Speaking on ABC TV on Monday, he noted that a total of 370 Australians would have been involved in training Ukrainian infantry by the end of the upcoming rotations.
The primary focus of the training involves infantry skills in urban and forestry environments, with a smaller contingent participating in a young leaders program aimed at grooming the next generation of Ukrainian military leaders.
Since January 2023, Australian soldiers have trained over 1200 Ukrainian troops as part of multinational training missions. Countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Romania, Norway, and Sweden have collaborated in this effort since June 2022.
Mr. Thistlethwaite reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to supporting Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, citing the country’s extensive financial assistance of approximately $910 million. This aid includes $730 million in military support, encompassing 120 Bushmaster vehicles and artillery. He characterized Russia’s invasion as illegal and unprovoked, emphasizing Australia’s standing as one of the largest non-NATO supporters of Ukraine’s resistance efforts.