Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday he was ready to share weapons of war with allies on several continents, including Latin America. The announcement is a direct response to Western countries that have provided military support to Ukraine.
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Many of them take up arms for the first time. Before putting on the uniform, the Ukrainians led a completely normal life: “I was a teacher,” says a 34yearold. She says that among her colleagues there are farmers, masons and mechanics who decided to learn combat techniques.
All of them are recruits to the Ukrainian Armed Forces who are now being trained at a base of operations in England. The Jornal Nacional team was invited by the British Ministry of Defense to accompany an exercise day. This Monday, the exercises will take place on a site simulating a conflict situation in urban areas.
At the request of the British government we cannot say where the base is located, nor can we identify the recruits. The official explains that the goal is to train at least 10,000 Ukrainian volunteers with little or no military experience. They learn to move and communicate in the field and, most importantly, to shoot.
Locally, they use the same type of rifle as the Ukrainian army. The major says the course reproduces real wartime conditions.
The training is tough, says a 25yearold business analyst. He says his parents are concerned about his decision to join the military: “They just begged me to stay alive. It is terrible what they are doing to our country.”
In these efforts to support Ukraine, the UK alone has donated the equivalent of more than BRL 14 billion. Donations also came from countries such as the United States, New Zealand, Japan and members of the European Union.
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On the other side of the war, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday he was ready to share the most advanced types of weaponry with allies in Latin America, Asia and Africa. The offer includes armored vehicles, artillery, fighters and drones.
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The Russian government has also announced plans to strengthen ties with the North Korean dictatorship. And that it can work with the Taliban in Afghanistan if it is in Russia’s interests. But Ukrainians training in England say they are not afraid of Putin’s troops.
With a ring on his finger, a student says he wants to go home as soon as possible. He lives in Kharkiv, one of the cities hardest hit by the war.
“Our families and our homes have been destroyed. I just want my country to be safe again.”