Stacey Dooley will follow a group of Ukrainian civilians as they arrive in the UK to begin five weeks of intensive army training. With exclusive and unprecedented access to the British Army’s training mission, the recruits will learn to survive and to be lethal, as they prepare for deployment to the frontline fighting against Russia.
Among the young civilians putting their lives on the line, Stacey meets florist and gardener Mykola, who wants to join his family members already on the frontline. He tells Stacey he hopes for victory so that he can marry his girlfriend. For Pasha, a welder who was living abroad when the invasion began, he fears going into battle will mean never seeing his parents again.
Stacey Dooley says: “These raw recruits go through one of the most relentless training programmes the British Army has ever devised. The Ukrainian men I came to know over a few short weeks were incredibly impressive. I think of them every day and hope their training will keep them alive.”
Clare Sillery, BBC Head of Commissioning, Documentaries says: “This film delivers first time access to the British army’s intense training programme for Ukrainian civilians and offers a unique insight into how young people prepare to be frontline soldiers. Stacey’s ability to grapple with the emotional and psychological challenges they face during this process is why she continues to be so popular with viewers.”
Brian Woods, Executive Producer for True Vision says: “Arriving in the UK, these men have no idea what they are about to go through. Both trainers and trainees know that in just over a month, the lives of every recruit on that course depends on what they have learnt in a dauntingly short time. Stacey’s talent for forging powerful connections with everyone she meets means they openly share their fears and hopes with us.”
Stacey Dooley: Ready For War? is a 1 x 60 for BBC Three and iPlayer and is made by True Vision East and Little Dooley.