NATO Countries Begin Training Ukrainian Soldiers on Home Soil

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.20 - 2024 10:44 AM CET

NATO nations take a bold step by training Ukrainian soldiers on the frontlines.

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NATO member states have initiated training programs for Ukrainian soldiers within Ukraine itself, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas revealed in an interview with the Financial Times.

On-the-Ground Training

"There are countries that are already training Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield," Kallas stated.

Kallas acknowledged that these nations are acting independently and at their own risk. She clarified that if a Russian attack were to injure NATO instructors, it would not trigger Article 5, the collective defense clause.

"I can't imagine that if someone gets hurt there, those who sent their people will say, 'This is Article 5. Let's strike Russia.' It doesn't work like that, not automatically," she explained. Kallas emphasized that countries sending personnel into Ukraine understand the risks involved in a war zone.

Estonia's Position

For Estonia to commence training Ukrainian soldiers, parliamentary approval is required. Kallas mentioned,

"This is an open public debate, but I think we shouldn't exclude anything at this point."

Estonian and Baltic officials view their security as closely tied to Ukraine's success, fearing that a Ukrainian defeat could embolden Russian President Vladimir Putin to target the Baltic states next.

Rising Concerns of Russian Aggression

In 2024, military officials from at least 10 NATO countries have stated that potential Russian aggression against the alliance is a realistic near-future scenario. Polish Defense Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz indicated that Poland does not rule out an attack from Russia post-Ukraine war.

Poland is taking preemptive steps, including signing arms supply contracts worth over 4 billion euros, primarily with domestic defense firms.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed claims of Russia's intentions to attack Europe as "nonsense." In his address to the Federal Assembly, he accused the West of provoking conflicts worldwide, including in Ukraine, while falsely accusing Russia of aggressive intentions.

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