We are carrying out training sessions for Ukrainian soldiers so that Ukraine can resist the Russian invasion, President Andrzej Duda said during a joint press conference with Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak on Monday. He expressed hope that an entire armored brigade will soon be assembled and transported to Ukraine.
President Andrzej Duda and the deputy PM visited the 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade in Świętoszów, western Poland, where they observed a training demonstration by Ukrainian tank crews and met with Polish instructors and Ukrainian soldiers.
⚡️The President of 🇵🇱Poland, Andrzej Duda, arrived at the training ground, where 🇺🇦Ukrainian tankers are mastering 🐆Leopard 2A4 tanks. pic.twitter.com/p7ijICX4gj
— 🇺🇦Ukrainian Front (@front_ukrainian) February 13, 2023
During the speech, the president pointed out that at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Poland decided to donate a company of Leopard tanks to the country, so that “Ukraine can resist the Russian invasion.”
“We have called on our allies, and asked them to also donate Leopards and other tanks to Ukraine as part of an aid component. We want an entire armored brigade to be assembled, we had a positive response from our allies,” he said and enumerated which countries have decided to donate tanks.
Training Ukrainian soldiers
We are carrying out allied activities not only by transferring armaments to the Ukrainians, providing humanitarian aid but also by training Ukrainian soldiers so that they can better defend their homeland with Western equipment, President Andrzej Duda said during the joint press conference.
Poland has become the first country to start training Ukrainian soldiers on Leopard 2 tanks.
President Andrzej Duda visited the training ground to talk with the Polish instructors and Ukrainian soldiers. pic.twitter.com/HGesHvL8OS
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) February 13, 2023
The president noted that the exercises will last more than a month, with participants going through the entire training cycle. He emphasized that soldiers-instructors from Canada and Norway are working together with the Polish instructors.
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He added that Ukrainian soldiers are also learning to use Polish equipment, including Piorun anti-aircraft launchers and Krab cannon howitzers.
Filling gaps in the Polish army
According to the Polish defense minister, in addition to supporting Ukrainians, the Polish government is also developing the Polish Army. “We are filling the gap created after the transfer of weapons to Ukraine,” Mariusz Błaszczak said on Monday.
He mentioned that last year the largest number of volunteers, more than 13,000 soldiers, joined the Polish Army.
The defense minister further mentioned that this year the first batch of Abrams tanks will be delivered to the Polish Army and thus “will fill in those gaps that were created by the donation” of Polish military equipment to Ukraine.
The deputy PM assured that the Polish authorities will continue to strengthen the Polish Army, as well as “support Ukraine because a free Ukraine means a free Poland.”