Citing intelligence sources, the representative of Donetsk, Eduard Basurin, has stated that British instructors have arrived in the Donbass, at the locations of the Ukrainian Forces.
“In the area of 93rd separate mechanized brigade in the vicinity of the city of Volnovaha, a group of foreign instructors has arrived – led by a representative of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, for the purpose of training of Ukrainian servicemen on how to carry out sabotage and subversive activities,” said Basurin.
“In addition to the British, from February 5th to the 9th, a delegation of the US military will join the Brits. They will assess the expenditure of funds that Washington has allocated to the army.”
The DPR stressed that rotation of the Ukrainian military has been completed in the Mariupol district. The marines which came to replace the infantry brigade have participated in the NATO exercises in Georgia in September 2017.
“It is possible that the commander of the 36th Marine Brigade will give an order in the near future to carry out provocative actions and practice the skills gained” said Basurin.
Experts admit that the arrival of foreign instructors directly to the region may indicate possible plans for the escalation of the situation. The director of the Center for Strategic Studies, Ivan Konovalov stated that “the essence of what is happening is that the training of servicemen of the Armed Forces and soldiers of the National Guard was so far, carried out in zones away from the so-called ATO. And now they decided to change the format and conduct training in conditions that are close to combat. We can assume that they will conduct local combat operations of a sabotage character, to check the preparedness of their men. ” said Konovalov.
The same opinion is held by the vice-president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Vladimir Anokhin, who believes that Kiev is planning a major offensive operation in the region.
“There are a number of factors that can be used to judge that Ukraine is preparing for large-scale hostilities – possibly late February or early March. This may well be related to the elections in Russia, ” the expert said.
Note that the UK launched a training program for the Ukrainian military under the name “Orbital” in February 2015. Then it sent 75 military doctors to the country, who provide medical help on the ground. In July 2017 Orbital was extended until 2018. During this time, about 6 thousand Ukrainian soldiers were trained in its framework.
In addition to Britain, Canadian specialists who come to the country within the framework of NATO’s Unifer mission are also training Ukrainian soldiers. In March last year it was reported that 200 instructors had arrived from Canada. The US has recently spent $ 22 million to equip a military training center near Lviv, to accommodate the new training programme.
Overall, there are currently an estimated 900 foreign instructors and foreign mercenaries in the Ukraine.
“We know of about 129 instructors from the United States, Canada, Turkey, Algeria, Lithuania, Latvia, Britain, who coordinate the actions of the Ukrainian units,” said Basurin.
In addition to the above, about 500 people are part of the Georgian National Legion and the Hungarian Battalion Magyar. He also noted that there are about 200 people belonging to international private military companies.