Russo-Ukrainian War: Ukrainian soldiers arrive in UK for training; battle to retake Kherson – latest updates | Ukraine

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The key events:

The UK-trained Ukrainian soldiers met British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, the Press Association reports, at the start of their training, which is expected to last several weeks.

Wallace said: “This ambitious new training program is the next step in the UK’s support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces in their fight against Russian aggression. Using the world-class expertise of the British military, we will help Ukraine rebuild its forces and step up its resistance as it defends its country’s sovereignty and its right to choose its own future.

The training will give volunteer recruits with little or no military experience the skills to be effective in front-line combat. Based on the basic training of UK soldiers, the course covers weapons handling, battlefield first aid, campaign skills, patrol tactics and the law of armed conflict.

The government has purchased thousands of AK assault rifles for the program, which means Ukrainian soldiers can train on the weapons they will use on the front lines.

Summary

Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine. Here is a summary of the latest developments.

  • The Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister called on all residents of the Russian-occupied territories of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions to “evacuate by all possible means”. “Please go – our army will start to retake these areas. Our resolve is rock solid. And it will be very difficult later to open humanitarian corridors when children are involved,” said Iryna Vereshchuk, according to Ukrainian media.
  • The first cohort of Ukrainian soldiers have arrived in the UK for combat training by British forces. The program will train up to 10,000 Ukrainians over the next few months to give volunteer recruits with little or no military experience the skills to be effective in frontline combat. Around 1,050 UK military personnel are deployed to run the programme, which will take place at Ministry of Defense sites across the UK.
  • Governor of Luhansk says Russian forces indiscriminately shell populated areas Friday, Reuters reports. “They are not stopped even by the fact that civilians are staying there, dying in houses and yards,” Serhiy Gaidai said.
  • Belgium will reopen its embassy in Kyiv and send a new ambassador, confirmed the Belgian Prime Minister. The embassy will open next week and Ambassador Peter Van De Velde, whom Alexander De Croo met before he was sent to Ukraine, will represent Belgium.
  • Ukrainian army claims to have destroyed two Russian command posts near Khersonaccording to Natalia Humeniuk, spokeswoman for the Joint Southern Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
  • Ukraine’s foreign minister slams Russia at G20 summit in Bali, saying he prefers to follow his own rules instead of cooperating multilaterally with the international community. “I am a strong supporter of multilateralism,” said Dmytro Kuleba. “But it lacks the tools to protect itself from those who disrespect other nations, who prefer to play by common rules instead of playing by the rules. We have such a country at this table today – Russia.
  • Ukraine’s parliament on Friday passed a set of new laws during its plenary session. The new laws include safety guarantees for journalists working in combat zones, improved social protection for rescuers and a postponed transition to keeping records of gas volumes in energy units.
  • US sends four more Himars, or High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, to Ukraine, a senior US defense official said at a press briefing on Friday. The four additional Himars will bring the total number assigned to Ukraine to 12. According to the official, the first eight were particularly useful because the fighting in the Donbass against Russian forces turned into an artillery fight.
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