In a secret camp in France, Ukrainian soldiers are trained before going to the front. According to the French instructors, their task is to make Ukrainian soldiers “more lethal and more survivable”, according to “Politico”.
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A group of Ukrainian soldiers learn NATO doctrine with French instructors before returning to the battlefield. It is a mutually beneficial cooperation, because the Ukrainians have real combat experience and they share it.
Both volunteers and conscripts are trained on the territory of a secret landfill. For security reasons, neither the location nor the names and ranks of the French instructors are being released.
Training under the supervision of French instructors lasts a month. The last week of school is for practicing what you have learned. Military personnel train six days a week from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The French train their Ukrainian counterparts in trench assault and infantry combat, including battles in cities and forests.
French officers say their aim is to make Ukrainian soldiers “more lethal and more survivable”.
Following Ukraine’s expressed dissatisfaction, the curriculum was modified and adapted to reality. The essence of the claims was that the NATO doctrine provides for air superiority over the enemy, which Ukraine does not currently have. The French command says that since Ukraine has perhaps the most combat experience of any armed force in the West, the French armed forces are also learning from the Ukrainians.
One of the additions to the military training program is the extensive use of drones to bring the environment closer to the reality that Ukrainians will face on the battlefield.
The curriculum also includes adaptation to stressful conditions. Soldiers must get used to the fact that there may be wounded people nearby who need help. And to get used to the “smell of death”, animal corpses are placed in trenches and trenches.
The main reflex taught by the French is to leave the street as soon as possible and hide, because “the street means death”.
In addition, conditions are created that are as close as possible to combat conditions: cold, loud sounds of explosions and gunfire, lack of sleep and sudden night attacks.
According to French commanders, it is forbidden for instructors and cadets to exchange contacts and keep in touch after the training course is over. In addition to safety concerns, this is done to limit emotional ties and avoid a traumatizing effect if one of the students were to be killed.
The newspaper, referring to the report of the French parliament, states that the training of Ukrainian soldiers costs France about 300 million euros. However, the French see it as a win-win scenario, as their soldiers train skills with Ukraine’s experience in mind. In addition, the training ground created for Ukrainians will be used for the training of French soldiers in the future.
France has committed to training 7,000 Ukrainians in France and Poland this year.