Though the U.S. was putting off in helping to train Ukraine troops, they have now confirmed that they will indeed be joining in the training of Ukrainian military forces, as the Russian aggression continues on, threatening their country. This move may threaten peace between the U.S. and Russia, but the U.S. was hoping to see a diplomatic solution to the current problem between Russia and Ukraine, and now as it seems there will not be an easy way out, the U.S. has decided to pursue the training of Ukraine soldiers, regardless of Russia’s warning.
On March 24, the United States was supposed to get involved with Ukrainian troops by training over 750 of them, according to Army Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges. The U.S. put it off as much as they could, in order to not end peace negotiations between themselves and Russia. Now the project is back on, according to an announcement made by the White House, after a phone conversation between Vice President Joe Biden and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko. Now training could begin as early as next month, in order to help troops in the fight against Russia.
Britain has already been helping Ukraine troops, training them in the city of Mykolaiv, during a mission which is said to last two months. This training has already begun in the month of March, and Britain plans to continue helping troops in order to prevent more Ukrainian fatalities. Now the U.S. will join in the training by sending in the army to help in the initiative. The U.S. had previously been helping the country by sending them tanks, weapons and other supplies. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter stated last month that he was “inclined” to support sending weapons to Ukraine, after issues between Russia and Ukraine just kept getting larger. According to sources, the army also plans to station 1000 U.S. military vehicles in Europe.
As Russia got word that military instructors would be helping out troops in Ukraine, they expanded the amount of troops in their so called training exercise. Chief of the general staff in Russia, Valery Gerasimov, said that the number of troops was increased to eighty-thousand for the exercise and aircraft was increased to 220. A reported 65 battleships are also involved in the military exercise. This increase has created severe tension between the military in Russia and the ones in Ukraine, Britain and the U.S.
NATO was also reluctant to become involved as they were hoping to continue sanctions with Russia, but then became involved on Tuesday when they had to put together jets from Estonia and Lithuania to intercept a group of Russian aircraft who had switched off their transponders. A Pentagon spokesman confirmed it. Kaliningrad officials also announced their plans to deploy Iskander missiles on the border of Poland and Lithuania, that week.
Russia’s exercises are a matter of grave concern to all involved, as they have grown large in number. The continuing live fire drills on the borders of Ukraine is jamming the airspace in the area, but now that the U.S. will be joining Britain in training Ukraine troops, they may be better prepared to fight against Russia. Though this move will put tension on the U.S./Russia relationship, U.S. troops are willing to risk it to aid in defeating Russia’s bullying tactics.
By Crystal Boulware
Yurko Dyachyshyn – Reuters