FACT CHECK: Did The UK Ministry Of Defense Send This Letter About Ukrainian Trainees?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a U.K. Ministry of Defence letter about Ukrainian military trainees.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that the Ministry of Defence sent this letter. There are several stylistic errors present in the letter.

Fact Check:

Hundreds of Ukrainian recruits are currently being trained in the U,K, that included marksmanship and battlefield first aid, according to The Associated Press. Approximately 5,000 Ukrainian soldiers completed basic training in the country, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

The Facebook image claims to show a “leaked UK Ministry of Defence Letter” that “shows Ukraine failing at basic military skills.” The letter explains that trainees had “low efficiency in certain sphere of military education” and that the command was not “fully satisfied” with the course.

“LEAKED UK MINISTRY OF DEFENCE LETTER SHOWS UKRAINE FAILING AT BASIC MILITARY SKILLS,” the post’s caption claims.

The letter is digitally fabricated. No such letter or descruiption of the course’s results appear on the U.K. Ministry of Defence’s website or its Ukrainian Embassy’s website. There are no credible news reports suggesting such a letter has been leaked or produced.

The letter also has several grammatical errors and uses American-style terms such as “defense” instead of the British-style term “defence.” The letter also identifies the British Army as the “British Royal Army” and has several sentences that appear informal and unpolished.

Shayan Sardarizadeh, a BBC reporter who focuses on disinformation and conspiracy theories, also debunked the claim on Twitter and said the fake letter was being shared by “pro-Kremlin accounts.” (RELATED: Did The Ukrainian Navy Destroy 13 Russian Warships In One Strike?)

A fake @DefenceHQ letter is being shared by pro-Kremlin accounts claiming Ukrainian military personnel trained in the UK lack basic skills. In addition to grammatical errors, it uses terms like “British Royal Army”, “raise the moral”, “defense”, “fast pacing” and “authorized”…”Sardarizadeh tweeted.

This is not the first time misinformation regarding the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has circulated on social media. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting 10,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops were deployed to Ukraine.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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