Ukrainian tank crews have completed training on Challenger 2 tanks in the UK and have returned home to continue their fight against Russia’s illegal invasion.

The training began shortly after the announcement in January that the UK would donate 14 Challenger 2 tanks and accompanying ammunition and spare parts to aid Ukraine. UK military trainers spent several weeks training Ukrainian personnel how to operate and fight with the tanks. Instruction included how to command, drive and work together as a Challenger 2 tank crew and effectively identify and engage targets.

The Challenger 2 tank marks a step change in capability for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, ensuring they are better able to protect their crews and offering them some of the most modern and sophisticated gunnery systems in the world.

To mark the conclusion of training Ukrainian Challenger 2 crews, the Ministry of Defence released a 30-minute documentary on YouTube. The documentary shows a behind-the-scenes look at the training.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “It is truly inspiring to witness the determination of Ukrainian soldiers having completed their training on British Challenger 2 tanks on British soil. They return to their homeland better equipped, but to no less danger. We will continue to stand by them and do all we can to support Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

The UK is sending Challenger 2 tanks, which will soon be in the hands of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Support to Ukraine from the international community has been unwavering since Russia’s full-scale invasion over a year ago, on 24 February 2022. The UK has trained and equipped the Armed Forces of Ukraine with a range of capabilities to help them defend their territory including anti-tank weapons, armoured vehicles, and air defence systems.