US Small Arms and Ammo Arrive in Ukraine as Russia Threats Increases

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  • US small arms and ammo arrive in Ukraine as Pentagon details troops to train country’s military

EKO HOT BLOG reports that according to a State Department official in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, a portion of a $60 million security assistance package, including small arms and ammunition, was delivered to Ukraine on Thursday, but a final delivery containing four counter mortar radars is still scheduled for early next year.

President Joe Biden authorized the deal on September 1 during a visit to the White House by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby, the support comprised both lethal and nonlethal aspects, such as Javelin anti-tank rockets.

US Small Arms and Ammo Arrive in Ukraine as Russia Threats Increases

The security package is intended to strengthen Ukraine’s self-defense capabilities, particularly in view of Russian troop buildup along the country’s borders. The United States has been watching the developments with increasing alarm, and US officials have been in contact with their NATO and European counterparts to organize a reaction if Russian President Vladimir Putin decides to attack Ukraine.

According to Kirby, the United States has sent nearly $450 million in security assistance to Ukraine this year, including the elements arriving this week. Since Russia attacked and captured the Crimean peninsula in 2014, the United States has donated more than $2.5 billion in aid to Ukraine.

In a tense virtual conference on Tuesday, Biden cautioned Putin of invading Ukraine, and the administration is preparing a slew of punitive economic consequences in the event that Russian military do attack.

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The US military also assists in the training of Ukrainian soldiers.

In November, about 150 troops of Task Force Gator of the Florida National Guard moved to Ukraine as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, replacing the Washington National Guard. The training group was formed in 2015 with the goal of improving Ukraine’s defense capabilities.

In addition to Task Force Gator, Special Operations Command Europe has a “large role” in training and advising Ukrainian special forces through exercises, communication and coordination “at every echelon,” the Pentagon said in a statement Tuesday.

The Pentagon did not disclose how many special forces were in Ukraine because of operational security concerns.

“Training with our Ukrainian partners cultivates trust, fortifies readiness, and develops relationships, which in turn promotes peace and stability throughout Europe,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Anton Semelroth said in the statement.

The Pentagon would not go into detail about timelines for training, operations or deployments, nor would it say if any schedules have changed in light of the buildup of Russian forces near Ukraine.
Marines from Europe and the region operate throughout the continent for training and exercises, the Pentagon said, and thousands of Marines from II Marine Expeditionary Force will take part next year in the biannual Cold Response exercise in Norway.

US Army Europe and Africa trains in Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Germany, the Netherlands and Greece, while the 4th Security Force Assistance Brigade has rotational teams in Georgia, Latvia, North Macedonia, Poland and Romania.
The Florida National Guard’s 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade is in Ansbach, Germany.

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