The US will train more Ukrainian troops and add advanced combat tactics

Nations supporting Ukraine this week pledged a full-scale effort to rebuild the country, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday night that he is working with the United Nations to send international monitors to witness the destruction.

Since 2014, when the Kremlin instigated a separatist war in eastern Ukraine — a region Moscow was planning to annex this year — Ukraine has tried to involve the UN in the conflict, but to no avail. Russia, with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, has veto power over any action there.

The Biden administration is increasing its support for Ukraine and is expected to announce soon that it will equip the country with a Patriot missile battery, which would be the most advanced weapon the United States has deployed to date. Unlike other air defense missile systems, the Patriot can shoot down not only aircraft and cruise missiles, but also much faster ballistic missiles.

The Kremlin, playing off Western concerns about a direct confrontation with Russia, has warned that sending patriots to Ukraine would escalate tensions; it has said similar things about HIMARS and other weapons. General Ryder, stating that the Patriot is a defensive system, dismissed this talk.

“It’s important to remember that Russia is the aggressor here and if there is an escalation, they could de-escalate today by withdrawing their forces,” he said.

The new training program is scheduled to take place at a US Army base in Grafenwoehr, Germany, where the Pentagon conducts its own combined arms training. The United States and its allies have also conducted training for Ukrainian troops there.

From 2015 to earlier this year, US instructors trained more than 27,000 Ukrainian soldiers at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center in western Ukraine near the city of Lviv, Pentagon officials said. But the United States withdrew its 150 instructors from Ukraine just before the start of the war. Ukraine later began sending troops to training bases abroad, notably Britain, Germany and Poland.

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