Ukrainian soldiers trained at secret locations in Sweden

Four Ukrainian companies of mechanised infantry are now 'ready for the front' after they were trained by the Swedish Armed Forces.

Ukrainian soldiers trained at secret locations in Sweden
Sweden has been training Ukrainian soldiers in how to use its armoured combat vehicles. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden said on Thursday it had trained Ukrainian soldiers to use the 50 CV90 infantry fighting vehicles it has donated to Kyiv.

But Stockholm did not specify how many Ukrainian soldiers it had trained.

“Due to security reasons, we will not disclose details of the scope or duration of the training at this stage,” a spokeswoman for the Swedish Armed Forces told AFP.

Four companies of mechanised infantry have been trained at secret locations around the country over the last few months, according to the Swedish TT news agency.


Sizes of companies vary between nations and can range from a few dozen to hundreds of soldiers.

Sweden announced in January that it would be sending 50 of its armoured combat vehicles to Ukraine.

The exact model sent to Ukraine is the CV9040C, equipped with a 40 mm automatic cannon which can target a “hovering helicopter from four kilometres away”, according to the armed forces.

Some of the Ukrainian soldiers had “zero experience of combat vehicles or tanks, but many had experience with the Russian combat vehicle BMP-1,” one of the Swedish instructors said in a statement.

The Scandinavian country also pledged to send Kyiv its mobile Archer artillery system and NLAW shoulder-launched anti-tank missiles.

The following month it announced it was also sending “around 10” Leopard 2 tanks along with the IRIS-T and HAWK anti-air missile systems.

Shortly after the start of February 2022 invasion Sweden broke with its doctrine of not delivering weapons to countries at war shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, pledging thousands of AT4 anti-tank weapons.

Stockholm has gone on to promise Ukraine total military aid worth 16.9 billion Swedish kronor ($1.6 billion).

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Ukrainian pilots complete first test of Swedish Gripen jets

Ukrainian pilots have completed a first training with Sweden's Gripen fighter jets, the Scandinavian country said on Thursday, although it has not yet confirmed whether Stockholm will donate any of the jets to Kyiv.

Ukrainian pilots complete first test of Swedish Gripen jets

Sweden said in May that it would invite Ukrainian pilots and ground crew to undergo preliminary training on the jets made by defence group Saab.

“The orientation training has been completed and according to the report I received from the defence forces, the training went well,” Swedish Defence Minister Pål Jonson said in remarks emailed to AFP.

The preliminary training “included test flights both in the aircraft and simulators and information sessions for ground crew,” Jonsson said.

The experience would “form the basis of the ongoing work to determine” whether Sweden can donate some of its Gripens, Jonson added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been pressing Western allies to provide it with modern fighter jets to help defend itself against Russia.

Allies have hesitated for various reasons, including fears it could escalate the conflict and the need to train Ukrainian pilots.

In late August, Copenhagen and The Hague announced they would donate American F-16 jets to Kyiv, with Oslo following suit shortly afterwards.

The planes are to be delivered once the pilots are trained.

The United States is also training Ukrainian pilots.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticised the donations to Kyiv, saying they would only “prolong the conflict.”