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Training Ukraine’s volunteer army

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“It is necessary to finally free our Ukraine from the enemy.” Follow a group of Ukrainian volunteers as they go through a UK-led course and learn crucial skills to defend their country on the frontlines.

Synopsis

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, tens of thousands of Ukrainians have volunteered to fight for their country. The volunteers are trained in basic military skills by NATO Allies and partners across Europe.
In the United Kingdom, groups of Ukrainian volunteers are undergoing a five-week course focusing on small arms, medical and urban combat training among other fundamental military skills. The training aims to provide them with basic skills and principles to survive and fight in their respective units. The courses are United Kingdom-led by instructors from NATO Allies, including Canada, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Norway, as well as NATO invitee Sweden, and partner countries Australia and New Zealand. The programme is part of the UK’s commitment to help Ukraine uphold its right to self-defence against Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression.
In this video, we follow a group of brave Ukrainian volunteers going through one of these courses and learning new skills as they prepare to face again the hardships of the battlefield, ready to defend their country.

Transcript

—SOUNDBITE IN UKRAINIAN W/ ENGLISH SUBS —
Oleh – Volunteer, Armed Forces of Ukraine

“It is necessary to end this war as soon as possible and finally free our Ukraine from the enemy.”

—SOUNDBITE IN UKRAINIAN W/ ENGLISH SUBS —
Anton – Volunteer, Armed Forces of Ukraine

“I didn’t think I would become a soldier. I had other plans for life. But it happened like that.”

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH —
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Zorab MBE – Commanding Officer, First Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

“Since the UK-led training to the Armed Forces of Ukraine started in June 2022, over 10,000 soldiers have been trained and redeployed back to Ukraine.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
Norwegian Instructor

“I’ve been nine years in the air force, but this is by far the most important thing I’ve ever done.”

— TEXT ON SCREEN —

TRAINING UKRAINE’S
VOLUNTEER ARMY

— TEXT ON SCREEN —
SINCE RUSSIA’S FULL-SCALE INVASION OF UKRAINE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF UKRAINIANS HAVE VOLUNTEERED TO DEFEND THEIR COUNTRY

— TEXT ON SCREEN —
MANY VOLUNTEERS ARE TRAINED IN BASIC MILITARY SKILLS BY NATO ALLIES AND PARTNERS AT LOCATIONS ACROSS EUROPE

--TEXT ON SCREEN—
MILITARY TRAINING FACILITY
UNITED KINGDOM

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Zorab MBE – Commanding Officer, First Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

“We run a five-week basic combat course. That is every day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for that period. The focus of the course is to give the volunteers to the Armed Forces of Ukraine the skills and principles to survive, fight and win.

—SOUNDBITE IN UKRAINIAN W/ ENGLISH SUBS —
Anton – Volunteer, Armed Forces of Ukraine

“Before the full-scale war, I worked as a bartender. I knew this would happen to me. I was waiting for it. I was ready for this, to go and defend my country.”

—SOUNDBITE IN UKRAINIAN W/ ENGLISH SUBS —
Oleh – Volunteer, Armed Forces of Ukraine


“I am a pediatrician, a pediatric surgeon, and I had to work with children who came from the occupied regions. To tell the truth, what they conveyed, the emotional background they had, is something terrible. And this horror must be fought somehow.”

—UPSOT IN ENGLISH—
A Dutch instructor talks to Ukrainian volunteers

“Ok, we’re going to start the demonstration with a small recap how to enter the building and afterwards we’re going to show you some new things.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Zorab MBE – Commanding Officer, First Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

“A significant amount of the course is spent in the urban training facility. Urban is a complex environment with its own specific challenges so it’s really important that we train the trainees how to cope and operate in those environments.”

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
Dutch Instructor

“Until now it’s going well. It’s a lot of information for those guys. We have a short time to practise it so we have to tell them a lot of things and practise it a lot, a lot, a lot. Again, again, again.

—UPSOT IN ENGLISH—
A Dutch instructor talks to Ukrainian volunteers

“So the first man goes in. The second man moves immediately behind him.”


--UPSOT IN UKRAINIAN—
Ukrainian volunteer enters building and fires rounds

“The door is closed on the left.”

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—
Dutch Instructor

“They have to try to make it similar as we do in every urban terrain. So you have to put a lot of different buildings to make this as realistic as possible.”

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH —
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Zorab MBE – Commanding Officer, First Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

“We have training teams from Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Finland as well as the UK and the Ukrainian national support element. Across the whole operation there’s then Canadian, Australian and New Zealand training teams involved as well. So very multinational. It demonstrates the shared values that nations in NATO and NATO partners have, both in the support to Ukraine and just working together. Those relationships are built on years of working and operating together in other operational environments.”

—UPSOT IN ENGLISH—
A Norwegian instructor talks to Ukrainian volunteers

“Lay down from my left and fill up each lane and find your target and then we will begin shortly.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH —
Norwegian instructor

“We are training basic marksmanship. The goal here is to have good groupings and to make sure that they use their sights correctly as well.”

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH —
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Zorab MBE – Commanding Officer, First Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

“The small arms training is an incredibly important part of the course. Teaching the trainees the confidence and skills to handle a weapon safely but also in a lethal manner to ensure that they can provide the best support to their units when they go back and are integrated into them.”

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH —
Norwegian instructor

“It’s all about teaching them how to be as efficient as possible with their weapon, but also how to survive as long as possible. Every night you go to bed and you think ‘Ok, did I do good today? Was there anything I could have done different?’ It’s an honour to be a part of their education and to see the progress they have. There’s no place I would rather be right now.”

—SOUNDBITE IN UKRAINIAN W/ ENGLISH SUBS —
Anton – Volunteer, Armed Forces of Ukraine

“The training is going very well. Everything is new for me. That’s why I try to study like my brothers. The atmosphere here is very good. We try to listen to our instructors. We have made very good progress, so we will return to Ukraine prepared to defend it.”

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH —
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Zorab MBE – Commanding Officer, First Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

“As well as focusing on the relevance of the course, we also focus on the realism and immersing the trainees in those realistic battlefield scenarios to help them to understand the effects that has on them mentally and indeed physically and also to prepare them for the battlefield that they’ll go back to.”

--UPSOT IN UKRAINIAN—
Ukrainian volunteer tends to wounded colleague during medical training exercise

“Arm injury.”

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH —
British instructor

“It’s like a false bombardment that’s come in and they’ve got to treat two casualties that currently have been wounded. So it’s up to the guys to understand what’s wrong with them and then treat them. They get into it, making sure it’s the very basic things like stopping massive bleeds, making sure the person can breathe and things like that. But it’s been very, very good so far and they’re taking it all on board.

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH —
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Zorab MBE – Commanding Officer, First Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

“Medical training is an important skill and it’s a focus on training soldiers to look after themselves, should they become injured, but also to look after the soldiers left and right of them.”

—UPSOT IN ENGLISH—
An instructor from the United Kingdom talks to Ukrainian volunteers

“Right, let’s go. Let’s go now.”

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH —
British instructor

“On the frontline where there’s so many of them, casualties and wounds are going to happen over there. For them to know this stuff is critical and these guys are all over it. They’ve hardly put a foot wrong.”

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH —
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Zorab MBE – Commanding Officer, First Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

“In a five-week course we can’t teach every context or every scenario that the trainees will face but what we can give them is the basic skills and principles which they can then adapt in the context of what they’re facing on the battlefield, to survive and fight.”

--UPSOT IN UKRAINIAN--
Ukrainian volunteer soldiers chant in unison

“Glory to Ukraine!”
“Glory to the heroes!”
“Ukraine!”
“Above all!”
“Ukraine!”
“Above all!”
“Ukraine!”
“Above all!”

—SOUNDBITE IN UKRAINIAN W/ ENGLISH SUBS —
Anton – Volunteer, Armed Forces of Ukraine

“I am proud of the fact that I went to defend my country, with my brothers. I will try to free Ukraine from the occupier and drive the enemy out of our land.”

—SOUNDBITE IN UKRAINIAN W/ ENGLISH SUBS —
Oleh – Volunteer, Armed Forces of Ukraine

“On the one hand, it’s the support given by the Norwegians, the British and generally the whole team working with us. It’s impossible to appreciate how much of a boost this gives us. The most important thing that we have on the battlefield right now is that we are not alone, that we are with allies.”
Music
Candle in the Dark by Weyenberg Journeying Together by Bohn Deceptive Intentions by Beiny Redline by Klooz Make the Call by Beiny Tomorrow Starts Today by Lux
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Reference
NATO913470
ID
2078