The British Army’s Royal Engineers have trained Ukrainian civilian engineers how to defend their energy sector from Russian attacks this winter.
Damage and destruction of critical national infrastructure (CNI) by Russian missile and drone attacks has represented one of the greatest threats to the lives and safety of Ukrainian civilians since the invasion.
The two-week training package was developed after a request from Ukraine.
Trainees were taught how to identify potential blast ranges and the impacts of different weapons and explosives, and where best to locate physical and aerial barriers to help protect sites from Russian attacks, the Ministry of Defence said.
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said the training was “essential” to protect Ukrainian civilians as winter approaches.
Mr Shapps said: “Ukraine’s civilian population faces mortal danger on a daily basis from Putin’s forces and their indiscriminate campaign of bombardment against its critical infrastructure.
“The Ukrainian people have demonstrated unwavering resilience in the face of this illegal invasion and this tailored package of training will help save lives during the bitterly cold winter months, where access to reliable energy is of vital importance.”
Major Michael Suddaby, from 63 Works Group Royal Engineers, said: “There is no doubt this training will be implemented in Ukraine in the coming weeks and have a real-life impact on the quality of life of its civilians and the ability for Ukraine to resist Russian attacks throughout the winter.
“The Ukrainian participants were extremely motivated and will be able to apply the specialist force protection measures and the infrastructure assessment methods delivered on this course to support their country.”
The Royal Engineers’ specialist reservists who work within the UK CNI sector employed their professional experience to deliver elements of the training at a UK gasworks, military airstrip, and a port facility.