The Pentagon is looking forward to a significant expansion of Ukrainian military exercises

Suspension

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other senior Pentagon officials are weighing a major expansion in training the Ukrainian military, It is a move that could greatly enhance its ability to expel Russian forces from occupied territories even as the US involvement in the war deepens.

The plan, under discussion for weeks, according to senior US defense officials, would build on billions of dollars in weapons and other aid. Washington has provided Ukraine by showing its military how to wage a more sophisticated campaign against Russia’s faltering military.

You will witness the Ukrainian fighting Units numbering hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of troops have been training together in Grafnohr, Germany, where the US military has routed Ukrainian forces in smaller numbers for years. Austin is keen to enhance Ukraine’s ability to maneuver on the battlefield with a more modern style of war that relies less on thousands of artillery rounds per day at Russian forces in what has become a grinding and bloody war of attrition.

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It is known that Austin favors the greatly expanded American training program, along with similar programs for tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers that will be implemented by Britain and European Union countries and others such as Norway. Germany alone plans to train 5,000 soldiers by June under the EU initiative, at German military combat simulation centers and battalion command centres.

Since the beginning of the war, President Biden has said that the United States and NATO are not at war with Russia, but they are Responsibility to help a fellow Democrat In defending itself against unprovoked aggression. Moscow rejected those statements, accusing the United States and its allies of using Ukraine as a disposable proxy for their own goals against Russia.

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Russia has already stepped up its rhetoric in response to the European training announcements. “Don’t say that the United States and NATO are not participants in this war,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters Thursday. “You are directly involved, including not only in the supply of weapons, but also in the training of personnel. … You train their army on your lands, on the lands of Britain, Germany, Italy and other countries.

The new training, requested by Ukraine, comes as the pace of the war is expected to slow, if not stop, during Ukraine’s icy winter months and allies consider how best to make use of the time. Counterattacks south of Kherson, a strategic Black Sea city abandoned by Russian forces last month, and into separatist strongholds to the east are expected to be difficult, as the Russians use the time to strengthen their defensive lines.

Ukraine managed to sustain battlefield losses to the Russian forces in many locations, but with heavy losses on both sides. Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appreciated that last month More than 100,000 Russian soldiers were killed or wounded Since the February 24 Russian invasion, “most likely” a similar number of Ukrainian troops.

The Russians are expected to continue to outpace the Ukrainian military, firing tens of thousands of artillery rounds each day as well as barrages of missiles and other munitions, according to Western intelligence estimates. At the same time, the Russian troop augmentation was accomplished by “mobilizing” thousands of additional troops whose effectiveness had hitherto been limited by minimal training, low morale, and logistical difficulties.

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Even as Ukrainian forces continue to be trained in specific weapon systems, the Western supply is not limitless. The goal of the new training is to teach the Ukrainians tactics that will enhance the effectiveness of the weapons they possess, and to use flexibility and adaptability on a larger scale with small units.

Many more Ukrainian trainees are expected to be recruited, according to US and European officials, as the Kyiv government continues to marshal nearly every available resource.

It was not clear whether expanding U.S. training would add significantly to the rising cost of aid to Ukraine, which is already being challenged by some lawmakers, especially Republicans. While the aid to Ukraine continues to enjoy broad bipartisan support, the Republican lawmakers who will take over the House Speaker next month have vowed more oversight.

In some ways, Austin’s vision is similar to the training that U.S. military units receive at their major training centers, such as the Army National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, and the Navy Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California. Before units are deployed, they spend weeks certifying that they are combat-ready in combined arms warfare, in which infantry, mechanized troops, artillery units, and other forces coordinate to find, surround, and destroy enemy units. CNN had earlier reported discussing expanded training of U.S. forces for Ukrainian forces.

The U.S. military’s large-scale training of Ukrainian forces began after Russia’s 2014 invasion and seizure of Crimea. But much of that instruction focused on special operations and resistance rather than launching large-scale offensives against a hard-boiled enemy. Since the invasion last winter, instructors have focused on teaching small numbers of soldiers at a time how to perform specific tasks, such as firing and maintaining the howitzers they have been fitted with.

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A Pentagon spokesman, Air Force Brigadier General. Gen. Patrick Ryder said Thursday that the Department of Defense, along with Western allies and partner nations, is “constantly looking for ways to support Ukraine through a variety of security assistance efforts, to include training.” He added that the section does not have any new ads.

Loveday Maurice in Berlin contributed to this report.

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