From January next year, Australia will join an international military operation to provide critical training for Ukrainian troops in response to Russia’s continuing violation of international law.
FILE PHOTO: Australian Government-donated Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles bound for Ukraine at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland, in April. Story by Corporal Jacob Joseph. Photo by Corporal Jesse Kane.
Up to 70 ADF personnel will deploy to the United Kingdom to support British-led Operation Interflex, a major training operation with the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The announcement of the training mission was the latest update in the government’s continuing assistance for Ukraine, which also included an additional 30 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles.
This brings the total number of gifted Bushmasters to 90.
Australians will join personnel deployed from New Zealand, Canada and various European countries already helping to generate additional capacity within the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
No ADF personnel will enter Ukraine.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Richard Marles, said military assistance was at the centrepiece of Australia’s support.
“Our soldiers will be part of a large training program in the United Kingdom to help prepare their Ukrainian mates for their struggle against Russia’s unwarranted and unlawful aggression,” Mr Marles said.
“Since their arrival, the Bushmasters have been used extensively by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, with more requested by the Ukrainian President, Minister for Defence and the ambassador.”
Australia has provided Ukraine with about $655 million in support, including $475 million in military assistance.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia would continue to stand for freedom and democracy.
“Australia has been unequivocal in its bipartisan support for Ukraine and its condemnation of President Putin,” Mr Albanese said.
“This is not just about Ukraine’s sovereignty; the brave people of Ukraine are defending international law, rules and norms.”