Recording: The British Army's Contribution to the Training of Ukrainian Forces

In June 2022, British forces began to train Ukrainian soldiers in the UK, with the stated aim of training 10,000 people every 120 days. This session charts the experiences of those conducting the training.

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On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. In June, a major UK training effort of Ukrainian forces launched. The endeavour is a successor to Operation ORBITAL, where the British Army provided training to soldiers in Ukraine after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.  

The training programme is led by the British Army’s 11th Security Force Assistance Brigade, with the stated aim of training 10,000 troops every 120 days. RUSI is delighted to host members of the brigade who have been conducting the training.

This event seeks to highlight the experience of those conducting the operation and offer the audience a chance to engage in a broader discussion.  

The webinar is moderated by Ed Arnold, Research Fellow in European Security.  


The briefing team comes from 5th Battalion the Rifles who have been training Ukrainian soldiers as part of Op INTERFLEX.

Lieutenant Colonel Kempley Buchan-Smith is Commanding Officer of 5th Battalion the Rifles, having assumed command in August 2022. He has previously served within the Ministry of Defence, 3rd (UK) Division and 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade, as well as deploying on operations in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan and Estonia.

Warrant Officer (Class Two) James Hopkins is the Company Serjeant Major of D Company, 5 Rifles. He assumed his appointment in June 2022, having served as the Training Warrant Officer and a Company Quartermaster Sergeant within 5 Rifles. He has also worked in numerous training roles at the Infantry Battle School in Brecon.

Corporal Ryan Braunton-Turner is a Section Commander within D Company, 5 Rifles. He has been in appointment since July 2021. He has previously worked as a Section Commander within 2 Rifles, as well as at the Army Training Regiment Winchester as a Phase One training instructor.


Ed Arnold

Research Fellow, European Security

International Security

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