New Zealand to deploy 120 troops to Britain to train Ukrainian troops

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern inspects the troops during an official reception at Admiralty House in Sydney, Australia on March 2, 2018. REUTERS/Dean Lewins/Pool

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WELLINGTON, Aug 15 (Reuters) – New Zealand is sending 120 military personnel to Britain to train Ukrainians in frontline combat, the government said on Monday.

The deployment will enable two infantry training teams to equip Ukrainian personnel with key skills to be effective in combat, including weapons handling, combat first aid, operational law and other skills.

About 800 Ukrainian soldiers will be trained at only one of four sites in Britain and New Zealand defense personnel will not travel to Ukraine, the government said in a statement.

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“We have made it clear that this brazen attack on the nation’s sovereignty and the subsequent loss of innocent life is wrong and intolerable. Our protest will go beyond words and include serious support,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference to announce. Deployment

She stressed that New Zealand troops have not and will not fight in Ukraine.

Thirty New Zealand defense personnel completed a deployment in May to train Ukrainian military personnel in artillery operations.

The training deployments are part of a series of actions in response to Russia’s February 24 invasion of its southern neighbor that has seen more than NZ$40 million ($25.70 million) in financial support and sanctions against 840 individuals and organizations.

Russia has called its intervention in Ukraine a “special operation” to disarm it.

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Reporting by Lucy Kramer; Edited by Robert Birsell

Our Standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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