US troops training Ukrainian soldiers on Russia’s doorstep: Report

Monday, June 8, 2015
By Paul Martin
JUNE 8TH, 2015

Hundreds of US forces are reportedly located in Ukraine to train the country’s troops on Russia’s doorsteps amid growing tensions between Washington and Moscow.

NBC News reported on Sunday that 300 American paratroopers are involved in the direct training that could be seen as a “major provocation” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The US forces are working with over 700 Ukrainian soldiers in three rotations during the six-month mission that started in April.

“From what we saw at day one to where they are at right now, they’ve proven their willingness to learn,” Capt. Nick Salimbene said.

“They’re getting better on a day-to-day basis,” he told NBC News.

The location of the mission is about 700 miles away from the front lines in eastern Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had earlier criticized the training.

“The participation of instructors or specialists from third countries on Ukrainian territory, where the domestic Ukrainian conflict is unresolved, could destabilize the situation,” he said.

American officials confirmed that they are training only soldiers of the National Guard inside Ukraine’s borders.

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