News | 29 August 2023

Ready for War – Royal Anglian Regiment Soldiers train Ukrainians

Stacey Dooley follows a squad of Ukrainian civilians from the moment they land on British soil for five weeks of gruelling training, designed to give them the skills they will need to ‘survive and to be lethal’ in the war against Russia.

Stacey has exclusive access to the British Army’s combat programme turning raw recruits into frontline soldiers.

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Pasha is a welder who was living in Belgium when Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year. Despite the tide of refugees leaving the country, he decided to return and defend his homeland. An unlikely soldier, he doesn’t have long to get to grips with the reality facing him on his return.

Artem has left his partner and six-year-old son behind near the border with Russia. Before the war, he had a thriving business making jewellery, but over the five weeks of the course, he is transformed into a professional soldier. But the change puts a great deal of pressure on his relationships with those he loves.

Mykola is a florist who dreams of getting back to his garden and girlfriend. Scoring the highest possible score on the rifle range, he is determined to reclaim occupied land from the Russian troops ‘centimetre by centimetre’.

Amid learning how to operate an AK-47, repel attacks and survive brutal combat in trenches reminiscent of World War I, Stacey gets to know this group of recruits, gaining first-hand insight into the psychological transformation needed to face the kill-or-be-killed reality of war.

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