In Spain, Ukrainian civilians put together for battle at a coaching centre close to Madrid | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Issued on:

Located one hour from Madrid, the Toledo Training Command centre is likely one of the largest navy coaching centres in Europe. Hundreds of Ukrainian civilians who’ve volunteered to move to the entrance are coaching there as a part of the EU Military Assistance Mission in help of Ukraine (EUMAM), arrange in October 2022. Spain is likely one of the EU’s key coaching suppliers, having already skilled 4,000 Ukrainian troopers. FRANCE 24’s Rémi Cadoret, Armelle Exposito and Bertrand Aguirre report.

As the battle in Ukraine enters its third yr, the Ukrainian military is in search of 500,000 extra troopers to make up for losses on the battlefield and relieve exhausted troops. But this request faces political opposition in Kyiv: a controversial mobilisation invoice has been blocked in parliament for a number of weeks.

However, Ukrainian civilians proceed to volunteer to serve their nation. Most haven’t any navy expertise. To prepare them, Kyiv can rely on the EU Military Assistance Mission in help of Ukraine (EUMAM), a coaching programme arrange by the bloc in October 2022. Some 35,000 troopers have already been skilled in one of many 24 nations taking part within the mission.

We visited a taking part coaching centre in Spain. The Toledo navy academy welcomes a contingent of 200 future Ukrainian troopers each 5 weeks. These women and men come from all walks of life: some are farmers, others manufacturing facility employees, others executives. Although typically disoriented by their new setting, they’re eager to be taught methods that may allow them to outlive on the entrance line.

Shooting, mine clearance and concrete fight: Five weeks’ coaching to be taught all of it

Spanish instructors have simply 5 weeks to show the fundamentals of capturing, city fight and mine clearance. They face a number of issues: the troopers’s age – 40 on common – and the language barrier. To talk with the recruits, who don’t communicate Spanish, the instructors are supported always by translators.

The Ukrainian volunteers are motivated, and it solely takes a number of days for group spirit to develop. “Five weeks isn’t much, but it’s all we have,” explains Lieutenant Angel, who supervises them. “The days are long because they have to assimilate a lot of techniques. And the first week is dedicated to getting back into shape, as most of them are not in good physical condition.”

At the ceremony marking the tip of their coaching, every soldier receives a cross blessed on the sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima and a picture of Saint Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of Kyiv. A talisman they hope will shield them on the entrance.

For safety causes, the faces of the troopers on this report have been blurred.

Read more analysis on the war in Ukraine
Read extra evaluation on the battle in Ukraine © France Médias Monde graphic studio

https://www.france24.com/en/tv-shows/reporters/20240223-in-spain-ukrainian-civilians-prepare-for-battle-at-a-training-centre-near-madrid