In a move that is likely to not go down well with Moscow, British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans to send British military advisors to the Ukraine to assist the Ukrainian Army in their fight against the rebels. Speaking to the House of Commons he stated that up to 75 members of the British Army and possibly other branches of the British military could be sent to the Ukraine to train the Ukrainian Army who have been unable to quash the pro-Russian rebels in over a year of bitter and bloody fighting.
He stressed however that this would be a non-combat operation and that British troops would not be used to fight the rebels directly. Unfortunately there is an historical precedent that flies in the face of this policy when in 1919 Britain sent “advisors” to Russia to train the anti-Communist “White” Russians to fight the Bolsheviks. That ended up with British troops in the thick of the fighting (for more please read Britain’s Forgotten Tank War). In 2015 there is surely more at stake than in 1919 however and should British troops get embroiled in the fighting it would no doubt result in a strong Russian response.
The response to David Cameron’s announcement in the UK has been rather divided. His supporters argue that he is taking decisive measures to curb Putin’s aspirations in the Ukraine while those against him claiming he is only exacerbating the situation and risks drawing the UK in to the fighting. Either way, David Cameron is making a strong statement towards Putin and in a UK election year with the British media alive with reports of Russian bombers and warships coming close to UK territorial waters he is surely hoping that if he appears resolved against the Russians then it will win him votes.