TV & Movies

Stacey Dooley’s New Doc Spotlights Ukrainian Soldiers Training In The UK

“One of the most relentless programmes in the British Army.”

by Sophie McEvoy
Stacey Dooley in BBC Three documentary 'Ready For War'
BBC/True Vision East/Blanca Munoz

Stacey Dooley is back with another documentary covering the ongoing conflict in Ukraine – but not from the country itself. Instead, she’ll be following a group of Ukrainian citizens who have journeyed to the UK to undergo military training by the British Army, so they’ll be equipped to return to Ukraine and fight the Russian invasion from the frontline. Here’s everything we know so far about Stacey Dooley: Ready For War? including the premise of the one-off programme.

Stacey Dooley: Ready For War? Premise

In the one-off documentary, Dooley follows a group of Ukrainians for five weeks as they undergo “intensive army training.” The British Army began training Ukrainians in June 2022 under Operation Inteflex, with “the stated aim of training 10,000 people every 120 days,” according to the Royal United Services Institute. King Charles III attended a training session in February 2023, which saw Ukrainian soldiers being taught how to survive in a hostile environment including weapon handling, marksmanship, field craft, first aid and law of armed conflict awareness.”

The Ukrainian recruits come from all walks of life, and Stacey meets a florist and gardener called Mykola, “who wants to join his family members already on the frontline,” per the synopsis. “He tells Stacey he hopes for victory so that he can marry his girlfriend.” Dooley also meets Pasha, a welder “who was living abroad when the invasion began” who “fears going into battle will mean never seeing his parents again.”

“These raw recruits go through one of the most relentless training programmes in the British Army has ever devised,” Dooley explained. “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.” On Instagram, the documentarian shared how the film was shot in December while she was eight months pregnant. “It was HARD WORK running around chasing soldiers through the fields at 8 months preggers, but SO worth it!” she wrote. And as for those soldiers, she thanked them for their “honesty and openness” that “shows us the human cost of this invasion.”

Stacey Dooley: Ready For War? Trailer & Release Date

The hour-long documentary will be available to watch on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer in the coming months. We will update you as and when we know more.