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US considering training thousands of Ukrainian soldiers per month: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ukrainian artillerymen load an M109 self-propelled howitzer, during training at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, May 12, 2022. (Photo by US Army)

The United States is considering enormously expanding a program to train Ukrainian troops, including by instructing as many as 2,500 soldiers at a base in Germany per month, a report says.

In an exclusive report, citing multiple unnamed US officials, CNN said on Wednesday that the administration of US President Joe Biden was considering a dramatic expansion in the training offered by the US military to the Ukrainian forces.

It added that the plan, if adopted, would include instructing as many as 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers a month at a US Army base in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

The proposal would mark a considerable increase both in the number of the Ukrainian army personnel trained by the US and in the type of training they receive.

Russia started what it calls a "special military operation" against neighboring Ukraine on February 24, with the declared aim of "de-Nazifying" the country.

Since the onset of the offensive, the US and its European allies have imposed waves of unprecedented economic sanctions against Moscow while supplying large consignments of heavy weaponry to Kiev. The Kremlin warns the sanctions and the supplies will prolong the war.

Part of the support provided by Washington for Kiev has come in the form of training a few thousand Ukrainian soldiers, mostly in small groups, on specific weapons systems, since the start of the conflict.

However, the new proposal, which is currently under interagency review by the White House, will cover much larger groups of Ukrainian troops for training in more sophisticated battlefield tactics, such as coordinating infantry maneuvers with artillery support, the report said, adding that such thorough training would be "much more intense and comprehensive" than those Ukraine has so far been receiving in Poland or the United Kingdom.

"We won't get ahead of decisions that haven't been made, but we are constantly looking for ways to make sure the Ukrainians have the skills they need to succeed on the battlefield as Ukraine defends their territory from Russian aggression," CNN quoted one of the sources, a senior Biden administration official, as saying.

Making a case for the program, the US officials argued that upcoming cold weather and a subsequent pause in fighting would be a good opportunity to carry out a more robust training regimen, as Ukraine has been torn between sending troops for training outside of the country or keeping them on the front lines amid limited manpower.

Since the front lines have stabilized to some extent, a potential opportunity has been created for Ukraine to send its soldiers abroad for training.

Back in July, the UK started a major program to train 10,000 Ukrainian troops within a matter of months, focusing on providing basic training to new soldiers with little to no combat experience. 


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