The Financial Times talked about the challenges Germany faces in training Ukrainian soldiers.
Teaching inexperienced soldiers how to operate a tank on the front line, in just 6 weeks, wasn’t easy at all.
According to the Financial Times, when German, Dutch and Danish officers gathered in a lush green swath of the North German countryside to train the Ukrainian men, they didn’t expect that the shortage of competent interpreters would be the most important issue.
“Interpreters are the number one challenge,” said Dutch Brigadier General Martin Bonn, who is deputy head of the European Union’s multinational training mission that launched last November to educate Ukrainians on a range of weapons and tactics, noting that Kiev and Western capitals Availability of translators who often lack the necessary qualifications.
“The big challenge is translating the words used in a military or technical context… Words that no one uses in everyday life,” the Dutch Brigadier General explained, after Ukrainian soldiers took part in a tank shooting exercise at a military base near Klitz in northeastern Germany.
The European trainers also said that the age and ability of the soldiers they are sent to vary greatly, as often Ukrainian commanders on the front line are unwilling to dispense the best men from the battlefields and send them to training camps.
The European trainers pointed out that one of the volunteers who came to Germany is 71 years old.
Germany wasn’t the only country that suffered from translation issues during training programs, as similar problem arose in Denmark.
The Ukrainian soldiers and their Western trainers are fully aware that Kiev has failed to make the progress it had hoped to achieve in the upcoming counterattack, in broad axes south of Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Bakhmut, which began last June.
On July 9, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted that the pace of the Ukrainian forces’ counterattack wasn’t as expected, and continued, “We all want this to happen faster… Every day means losses among Ukrainians”.
About a month after the offensive began, the New York Times reported that up to 20% of the weapons Ukraine sent to the battlefield during the counterattack were damaged or destroyed.