August 30, 2022

EU Mulls Military Training Mission for Ukraine

Source: Deutsche Welle

Journalist: Jack Parrock

The potential training mission would also send a political signal to Russia that the EU is ramping up its support for Ukraine.

"In Putin's mind, the EU has already shoved a million pokers in his eye. This is just another grievance he'll sell as anti-Russia, but Europe shouldn't worry about that anymore," Townsend, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based think tank, said.

"If you're in it for the long haul and you don't have unlimited manpower, which Ukraine doesn't, you've got to focus on training,” he added. "They won't be able to launch counter-offensives [like the one to retake Kherson] if they're not ready because they'll not have the manpower ready to replace those lost in the battles."

In July 2022, there were 700,000 people registered in Ukraine's armed forces. That number increases to a million if the national guard, police and border guard are included, according to the country's defense ministry.

The expansion of Ukraine's armed forces has been significant – in 2021, there were just under a quarter of a million people enlisted.

"Guys arriving at the frontline without training can be really dangerous," Townsend said. "It's more of a hinderance than a help if you've got someone there who can't keep his weapon clean, and it ends up backfiring and injuring him."

Read the full story and more from Deutsche Welle.


  • Jim Townsend

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    James Joye Townsend Jr. is an adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program. After eight years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for European ...