New Zealand to help train Ukrainian soldiers in UK

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New Zealand on Monday announced it would roll out a training program for Ukrainian soldiers to teach them how to operate artillery weapons as the country continues to defend against Russian forces.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a release that 30 members of an artillery team with the New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) would begin training Ukrainian soldiers in the United Kingdom on the operation of L119 105 mm tactical howitzer light guns.

Training with the artillery weapons had been requested. The program will begin next month and last until the end of July.

Ardern said New Zealand fully supported Ukraine’s fight for independence after Russia invaded the country in late February.

“We have been clear throughout Russia’s assault on Ukraine, that such a blatant attack on innocent lives and the sovereignty of another country is wrong, and our response has not only included the condemnation of Russia, but practical support for Ukraine,” the prime minister said in a statement.

New Zealand will additionally arm Ukraine with supplies of ammunition and gun sights while assisting the country with humanitarian relief.

The South Pacific nation has already provided $15.7 million to Ukraine for military equipment and has rolled out sanctions against Russian entities and persons.

The news comes just days after U.S. President Biden signed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine that includes military and humanitarian assistance for the European nation as it fights for its independence.

Support from other nations, particularly NATO, has bolstered the Ukrainian resistance. Ukraine has pushed Russian forces back from the capital region around Kyiv and continues to put up a stiff resistance in the eastern Donbas, where Russia regrouped for a renewed offensive.

Over the weekend, Russia declared victory in the port city of Mariupol after the last of the Ukrainian fighters hiding out in a steel plant were taken prisoner.

Tags Artillery Jacinda Ardern Jacinda Ardern Jacinda Ardern military training New Zealand New Zealand Russia Russia Training Ukraine Ukraine war in ukraine

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