US training Ukrainian troops – Pentagon
Ukrainian military personnel are receiving American training in Europe amid the conflict with Russia, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby has confirmed.
“I can announce that the United States has commenced training with the Ukrainian Armed Forces on key systems at US military installations in Germany,” Kirby said during a briefing on Friday.
As part of the program, coordinated with Berlin, the Ukrainian troops are learning to operate artillery, radars and armored vehicles.
“This new training effort in Germany and at other locations in Europe is in direct support of recent US security assistance packages that are designed to help Ukraine win their battles today and build strength for tomorrow,” the spokesman said, noting that the US has committed $4.3 billion to the Ukrainian military since 2021.
Kirby stressed that the Pentagon has no plans to send its instructors into Ukraine. “The training that we'll do will be outside of” the country, he said.
But the possibility of servicemen inside Ukraine receiving American training “virtually” is being explored, he added.
US ally Britain is also helping Ukraine’s troops to improve their combat skills, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing last week that “we are currently training Ukrainians in Poland in the use of anti-aircraft defense, and actually in the UK in the use of armored vehicles.”
The statement drew condemnation from retired Polish General Waldemar Skrzypczak, who accused Johnson of revealing military secrets and advised him to think before speaking.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, following Kiev's failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.