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News > U.S.

US Stops Training Program for Ukrainian Forces

  • U.S. forces were deployed to train Ukrainian militia. Mar. 12, 2022.

    U.S. forces were deployed to train Ukrainian militia. Mar. 12, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@llowellw

Published 13 March 2022

The White House has stopped a covert training plan for Ukrainian forces.

After many years of secret training programs given by the U.S. military to Ukrainian forces, Washington has reportedly canceled the project, allegedly for fear of potential interference in negotiations with Russia for a peaceful solution to the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine.

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Diplomatic relationships between Russia and the U.S. collapsed before Moscow launched its special military operation in Ukraine last February 24 because Washington continued to ignore Russia's concerns on NATO'expansion eastward and the expulsion of Russia's diplomatic staff from the country.

The plan was presented to the U.S. Congress in December 2021 by Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, where "a few hundred" U.S. special operations troops would be deployed to Ukraine and coach militants in "unconventional warfare." Russian forces in Ukraine have found several documents under the approval of Colonel-General Nikolai Balan, commander of the Ukrainian National Guard, that allowed the incorporation of neo-Nazi militias for a major offensive against the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the east.  

The documents found disclosed that the troops had been selected and trained according to the 80th Separate Air Assault Brigade in Yavorov near Lvov — a unit that has trained with U.S. and British forces. The Yavorov 'International Peacekeeping and Security Centre' barracks, located 12 miles from Poland's border, were destroyed on Sunday morning by a Russian missile strike.

U.S. Army Green Berets and the CIA's 'Ground Branch' had arrived in Ukraine to teach conventional and insurgent warfare methods. In January, the British Ministry of Defence said had personnel teaching Ukrainians to use the NLAW anti-tank missiles it has gifted to Kiev in the city of Lvov itself. At the time, Ben Wallace, British Defence Secretary, announced that 30 soldiers of the army's Ranger Regiment were sent to Ukraine for the mission.

The announcement of the British side emerged the same month that the CIA's 'Ground Branch' had been training Ukrainian units. In contradictory statements, a spokesperson said that "no such plans were ever presented" to the White House or the National Security Council. The Pentagon indicated that Biden did not "cancel any planned training activities for Ukraine until U.S. forces were repositioned in February."

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