The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) confirmed on Thursday that Ukraine’s military would be getting more training at a U.S. base in Germany as military conflict between Ukrainian and Russian forces continues in Ukraine’s Donbas region.
“The U.S. has provided both equipment and training to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty against an illegal invasion by Russia that began in February,” the DOD shared in a press release. “Now the U.S. will provide Ukrainian soldiers with combined arms and joint maneuver training.”
During a briefing on December 13, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said that the next logical step is to continue the training efforts begun in 2014. The hope, he said, is to build the capacity of the Ukrainian armed forces.
“Training is and has been essential to ensuring Ukraine has the skilled forces necessary to better defend themselves,” Ryder said.
The 7th Army Training Command of the U.S. Army Europe and Africa Command will train soldiers from Ukraine. Ryder said they expect about 500 Ukrainians to join each month. The training will likely take place in Germany and will start around January.
The news comes on the heels of intense fighting in Ukraine, mainly contained to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east over the past week.
Denis Pushilin, the acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), told the TASS Russian News Agency that peace talks with Ukraine are likely impossible after the most intense strike on Donetsk inflicted by Ukraine on Thursday.
“If we talk seriously, then there can be no talk about agreements with [Kyiv],” he said.
Pushilin said about 1 million people currently live in Donetsk. He said artillery strikes would only stop if Donetsk became unreachable for Ukrainian artillery.
In a social media post, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed that Russia launched two missile strikes on the Zaporizhzhya and Kharkiv regions on Tuesday.
“During another Russian shelling of Kherson today, a projectile hit the aid station of the Red Cross,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed in his nightly address on December 15. “The woman who died was a paramedic, a volunteer. My condolences to the relatives … Just since the beginning of this day, Russia has shelled Kherson more than 16 times! Only in one day! And it is so every day.”
Still, as the war churns on, some lawmakers in the United States are cautioning the Biden administration against further fueling the conflict with taxpayer money and weapons and drawing the nation deeper into a possible quagmire, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and likely the next Speaker of the House, for instance, has claimed Republicans will not write a “blank check” to Ukraine.