Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently clarified the nation’s stance on sending troops to Ukraine to fight with the Russian army. Here’s the whole story.
This announcement comes in the wake of comments made by the UK’s recently appointed Defense Minister, Grant Shapps, who suggested sending troops to Ukraine for training purposes.
The UK Refrained
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the UK has refrained from sending its troops to the region, opting for alternative means to support Ukraine while avoiding direct conflict with Russia.
A New Vision
Defense Minister Shapps articulated a vision involving sending military instructors to Ukraine to provide training, possibly within the UK or other Western nations.
The PM’s Stance
However, Prime Minister Sunak’s statements seemed to diverge from Shapps’ vision, as he clarified that there were no immediate plans to deploy British troops to Ukraine.
Sunak said, “What the defense secretary was saying was that it might well be possible one day in the future for us to do some of that training in Ukraine.”
British Soldiers Will Not Be Sent to Fight
“But that’s something for the long term, not the here and now. There are no British soldiers that will be sent to fight in the current conflict,” he added.
The rationale behind the UK’s cautious approach lies in the potential risks of deploying troops directly to Ukraine.
It Could Cause Bigger Problems
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that any British troops training Ukrainian soldiers within Ukraine would become targets for Russian forces.
Such a move could escalate tensions and directly involve British soldiers in the ongoing conflict.
The UK Keeps Providing Training and Support
Nonetheless, the UK remains committed to providing training and support to Ukrainian forces.
Over the past year, the UK has trained approximately 20,000 Ukrainian soldiers through five-week military courses, as reported by Reuters.
Training Within Ukraine
The intention is to continue this training program, preparing a similar number of individuals for future challenges.
Defense Minister Shapps indicated a potential shift in military training location, suggesting that discussions with British military chiefs had opened the possibility of conducting training within Ukraine.
Build Arms Factories in Ukraine
He explained the opportunity to bring training “in country,” particularly in the western regions of Ukraine.
Additionally, Shapps expressed hope that British defense companies, such as BAE Systems, would proceed with plans to establish arms factories in Ukraine.
When addressing the Conservative Party’s annual conference, Shapps did not explicitly mention the earlier comments regarding troops being sent to Ukraine.
The Gravity of the Situation
Instead, he highlighted the gravity of the situation, admitting that the conflict was consuming both human lives and resources at an alarming rate.
Twitter Users Expressed Their Views
Several social media users shared their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “Why do you people continue pushing the war forward? Is not good for the citizens…”
Sunak Will Show His True Colors Soon
Another user added, “Sunak just can’t make up his mind which side he is on. But I’m afraid he can’t sit on the fence forever; he will have to show his true colors sooner or later”
Russia Won’t Retreat
A third user commented, “That’s been long overdue. Russia won’t retreat unless the West sends troops to Ukraine. NUCLEAR WAR? Only fools buy that Russia threat.”
This Has to Happen
A fourth user wrote, “At some point, it has to happen. Ukrainian men are being slaughtered. Someone has to take their place in the dumbest war ever created for profit.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Aidan Calderbank. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.