UK Defense Ministry Cuts Back on Ukrainian Troop Training Due to Noise Complaints
© AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth / Ukrainian recruits take part in a live fire training exercise at a military base with UK Armed Forces in Southern EnglandUkrainian recruits take part in a live fire training exercise at a military base with UK Armed Forces in Southern England
© AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth / Ukrainian recruits take part in a live fire training exercise at a military base with UK Armed Forces in Southern England
UK-trained Ukrainian troops composed a significant part of Ukraine’s failed counteroffensive, particularly in Ukraine’s 82nd Air Assault Brigade which recently joined the front lines. However, rather than advances, the Kiev's efforts have instead resulted in 71,000 casualties and the loss of 543 tanks and 18,000 armored vehicles.
The British Army has pulled back on training sessions for Ukrainian soldiers stationed at Lydd Ranges in Kent, England, after receiving a “number of letters” from nearby residents complaining about the noise.
The UK’s Ministry of Defense said it decided to cut training at the facility by a third because nearby residents were growing angry over the explosions, gunfire and smoke caused by the training.
Base commander Lieutenant Colonel Mark Powell said the decision was made to maintain the Army’s good relationship with the residents of the town; however, at least one resident called for the base to be shut down completely.
“I say close it. The explosions are very noisy indeed,” Alan Smart, 63, told UK media. “They make the windows rattle. It’s murder — I hate living here but the trouble is we rent.”
A spokesperson for the UK MoD noted the Lydd Ranges have been conducting training since the early 1900s and said the base has “robust monitoring procedures to ensure noise remains below agreed limits for the local community,” while also noting the weather can change how far sound travels.
The development comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned at the Eastern Economic Forum on Tuesday that a Ukrainian sabotage group captured by Russian forces had admitted during interrogations that they were instructed by the UK’s secret services to attack Russian nuclear power plants.
12 September, 11:25 GMT
“Do they understand what they are playing with?” Putin said. “Are they trying to provoke us into retaliating against Ukrainian atomic power stations? Does the British prime minister know what his secret services are doing in Ukraine?”
Roughly 20,000 Ukrainian troops have been trained in the UK. Most arrive with no military experience and receive a 5-week accelerated training program before being sent to the front lines, but some are trained for specific tasks.