The 5th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR) has marked the first anniversary of Russia’s bloody invasion of Ukraine by passing out the first batch of Australian-trained Ukrainian military recruits, amid anticipation of a renewed heavy assault on the besieged nation.
Part of Operation Kudu, the graduation of the Ukrainian recruits trained by 5RAR in the UK is part of a multinational effort to help Ukraine’s military continue its resistance and repulsion of Russia’s military by mobilising more civilians to be fit for front-line service.
Australian troops were sent to the UK in January as the first part of the mission, with 5RAR instilling basic combat training and modern infantry tactics in what is becoming an increasingly asymmetrical war.
The first rotation of Operation Kudu, of which Australia is one of nine contributing nations, included a visit from His Majesty King Charles III to the urban warfare training facility in Britain, where the training is being held.
Aside from the training, Australia has also sent Bushmaster-protected mobility vehicles and armoured personnel carriers and promised to increase the supply of unarmed drones.
Australia’s support, which is made under a formal response to Russia’s continuing violation of international law, has also prompted a more robust domestic national security posture, with the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation dismantling what director-general Mike Burgess described as a “hive” of undeclared spies.
Russian intelligence interest in Australia as a whole is known to have increased sharply recently, partly because of support for Ukraine but also because of Australia’s entry into the nuclear-powered submarine club under the AUKUS alliance.
Australia’s commitment to building a space industry has also been the target of attention, with the visa of a space industry expert with Russian connections working in South Australia recently revoked on national security grounds.
Prior to the ascendancy of US-based space firms headed by tech billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, Russia had carved out a commanding niche in the space and satellite industry by repurposing inventory from its ballistic missile fleet as launch vehicles.
Australia announced a fresh round of sanctions against Russian organisations and individuals last week.
Source : The Mandarin