Ukrainian Soldiers Arrive In The UK For Challenger 2 Tank Training

These images show Ukrainian soldiers arriving in the UK to receive training to use Challenger 2 tanks.

Photos show the Ukrainian soldiers disembarking from a royal air force aircraft.

The images were obtained from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) after they were released on 29th January, along with a statement saying: “Ukrainian tank crews have arrived in the UK to begin training for their continued fight against Russia.

“The UK will provide Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine alongside global partner nations – demonstrating the strength of support for Ukraine, internationally.”

And on 21st January, the UK MoD released this footage of a Challenger 2 tank in action and said: “Ukrainian tank crews have now arrived in the UK to undergo training on the Challenger 2 tank.

“The UK is providing tanks to Ukraine to help them retake territory and repel enemy forces. Here’s archive video of the Challenger 2 in action.”

The footage shows Challenger 2 tanks in operation on what appear to be training grounds.

Ukrainian tank crews land at an airport in the UK, undated. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to send around 14 Challenger 2s to Ukraine. (@DefenceHQ/Newsflash)

Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February 2022 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 344th day of the war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February 2022 and 2nd February 2023, Russia had lost about 129,030 personnel, 3,211 tanks, 6,382 armoured combat vehicles, 2,212 artillery units, 458 multiple launch rocket systems, 222 air defence systems, 293 warplanes, 284 helicopters, 1,951 drones, 796 cruise missiles, 18 warships, 5,064 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 200 units of special equipment.

Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.

At least two people have been killed and seven injured when a Russian rocket destroyed an apartment building in the city of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine, according to the regional governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko.

He said: “Rescuers, law enforcement and public utilities are working at the scene to go through the rubble of the destroyed building. It is likely that people are still underneath.”

Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said on Wednesday evening that there is fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine, with Russian troops attempting to advance near the strategic city of Lyman.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Russian forces are attempting to make gains that they can show on the anniversary of the invasion, which will be on 24th February.

Zelensky said: “A definite increase has been noted in the offensive operations of the occupiers on the front in the east of our country. The situation has become tougher.”

Picture shows a FV4034 Challenger 2 in action in undated footage. The FV4034 Challenger 2 (MoD designation “CR2”) is a third generation British main battle tank (MBT) in service with the armies of the United Kingdom and Oman. (@DefenceHQ/Newsflash)

Andrei Medvedev, a former commander of Russia’s Wagner mercenary organisation who fled to Norway, reportedly said he wished to apologise for having fought in Ukraine and wanted to bring the perpetrators of atrocities carried out in the conflict to justice.

He also said that he witnessed Russian prisoners who were taken to Ukraine to fight for Wagner being mistreated and killed.

The UK Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, has said that he does not think that it would be the right decision to send UK fighter jets to Ukraine “for now”.

He also said that it was “not a solid decision” and added: “I’ve learned two things: never rule anything in and never rule anything out.”

Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck has said that he is not in favour of sending fighter jets to Ukraine, saying that it would probably be a step too far and could lead allies into being drawn into an outright war with Russia.

But Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Ukraine’s western allies to “give the Ukrainians the tools to finish the job”, including main battle tanks and combat aircraft.

Picture shows the Challenger 2, undated. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to send around 14 Challenger 2s to Ukraine. (@DefenceHQ/Newsflash)

Speaking to the Atlantic Council in Washington DC, the UK’s former Prime Minister urged allies to “stop focusing on Putin and focus entirely on Ukraine.

Spain has reportedly said that it will begin sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, with between four and six of the tanks set to be supplied to Kyiv.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that the growing relationship between Russia and China represents a threat not only to Asia but to Europe as well.