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UK training for Ukrainian military extended 'in face of more belligerent Russia'

Britain's training programme for the Ukrainian military is to be extended for another year in the face of a "provocative" Russia, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has announced.

UK personnel will now remain in the country until early 2018 in order to teach their skills to the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF).

Sir Michael said: "Britain is stepping up in Europe and around the world.

"Extending British training of Ukrainian Armed Forces sends a clear message that we support Ukraine and remain firmly committed to its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, in the face of a more belligerent Russia.

"This extension will ensure thousands more Ukrainian troops get first-rate training from the best armed forces in the world."

The UK provides a senior adviser to Ukraine's ministry of defence and has gifted more than £1 million worth of non-lethal equipment to the country, including first aid kits and cold weather clothing, to strengthen their defensive capability and increase their resilience.

By March 2017, British personnel will have trained more than 5,000 members of the UAF.

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