At a glance
- UK and Australia joined together in a show of solidarity to help Ukrainian forces
- British 5th Rifles cancelled holidays to train Ukrainian recruits in infantry tactics
- Russia has gathered up to 500,000 soldiers, with Kyiv estimating the attack could involve up to 700,000 soldiers
- Russian army is 1 million men strong, with another 2 million reservists
- NATO and Kyiv have warned of a major new attack, with evidence of civilians being expelled from their homes in Russia
- Russia has accused NATO of mobilising against them, and Kyiv has detailed their “war chest” of new weaponry
Ukrainian Training Exercise in Salisbury
Ukrainian forces are on a training exercise in Salisbury Plain, England, learning battlefield first aid and infantry tactics while they clear trenches in preparation for close quarters battles.
The UK and Australia have joined together in a show of solidarity, with Australian armed forces providing support.
UK foreign minister James Cleverly said: “The UK and Australia are the best of mates and for over a century we have been hard-headed champions of freedom and democracy.”
British 5th Rifles Train Ukrainian Recruits
The British 5th Rifles cancelled holiday leave to train Ukrainian recruits in infantry tactics, enabling them to “survive and be lethal” and “efficient and effective killers”.
This comes amid fears that Russia is plotting an attack across two new fronts in Ukraine, as Kyiv believes the attack may happen around February 24th – the one-year anniversary of the invasion.
Ukraine’s defence minister Oleksii Reznikov reported that Moscow had gathered up to 500,000 soldiers for the new offensive.
Russian diplomat Sergei Lavrov said the country was ready to “gain the world’s attention” and Kyiv was preparing for the assault, having called for weapons from the West.
Currently, there are 326,000 Russian troops on operation in Ukraine, and Kyiv has estimated that another 500,000 conscripts could be called up.
This amount could mean the attack could involve up to 700,000 soldiers, with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s future tied to the success or failure of the war.
According to reports, more than 129,000 Russians have died in the war’s battlefields.
The Russian army is understood to be over one million men strong, with another two million reservists, which Putin’s defence boss Sergei Shoigu wants to swell to one and a half million from 2023.
A think tank has also suggested that Putin may be preparing for smaller raids on northern Ukraine in a bid to spread their defences thin ahead of the new offensive.
NATO and Kyiv Respond
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg previously warned the Russians were getting ready for a major new attack, and this has been backed up by evidence from Kyiv.
Russian forces have expelled Ukrainian civilians from their homes in eastern regions as they gather their military might, and the Ukrainians soldiers are urging Russian forces to abandon their posts before they are killed.
Moscow has accused NATO of mobilising all its military infrastructure against Russia, including satellites, and a leaked call between Russian forces revealed that the campaign was being referred to as a “meat grinder”.
To repel the attack, Ukraine has detailed the “war chest” of new weaponry they want the West to provide.
With such a show of international solidarity, Ukraine looks ready to stand against this aggression. It remains to be seen what the outcome will be.
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