Politics explained

Could British troops be caught up in the Ukraine crisis?

As the UK withdraws all troops from Ukraine, the country’s ambassador in London has pleaded for Nato to deploy forces in the country. Vadym Prystaiko’s call was echoed by senior Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, the chair of the Defence Select Committee, who said it was the only effective way to deter Vladimir Putin from sending his forces over the border.

Only a handful of British military personnel are currently posted in the eastern European country on training missions for Operation Orbital, which was launched in 2015 in response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian region, Crimea.

The Ministry of Defence said their work there has included training in basic infantry, medic skills and courses to counter attacks from snipers, armoured vehicles and mortars. Around 30 elite troops were deployed in January to train Ukraine’s military in the use of 2,000 anti-tank missiles supplied by the UK.


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