08:29 GMT27 February 2020
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    A team of US military experts arrived in Ukraine to inspect the sites for the planned training of Kiev’s National Guard.

    A team of Pentagon representatives arrived in Ukraine to set the stage for the planned training of the country’s National Guardsmen by US military instructors.

    “During a meeting with the chief of the Ground Forces Academy, Lt. General Pavel Tkachuk, and their Ukrainian colleagues, the American guests discussed the details of the training program providing for the maximum use of the Academy’s firing ranges and other facilities,” the National Guard said in a statement Wednesday.

    The training program, slated to commence this spring, includes a three–stage, across-the-board combat readiness drill for the Ukrainian military.

    According to US Army Europe commander Ben Hodges, the training mission is set to begin in March and will involve one US battalion training three Kiev battalions.

    The commander said that US troops would train Kiev forces in security and medical tasks, as well as to operate with jammed communications.

    On Monday, pro-independence fighters claimed there might be some foreign mercenaries among the pro-Ukrainian combatants who have been encircled near the city of Debaltseve between Donetsk and Luhansk as they "have intercepted the talks in four different languages."

    Earlier, a self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic's official said that Ukrainian armed forces were using US war tactics in Donbas.

    The United States is also currently considering providing lethal weapons to Kiev, a move that some European countries, including France and Germany, are opposed to.

    Despite the ceasefire agreement reached between the independence supporters and Kiev last September, fighting has continued in the Donbas region. The clashes intensified in recent weeks, with the warring sides trading blame for numerous shelling attacks in eastern Ukraine. More than 5,000 people died since the start of the military conflict in eastern Ukraine last April, according to the UN.

    Related:

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    Diplomatic Efforts Ineffective Without US Weapons to Ukraine - McCain
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    instructors, combat training, Pentagon, United States, Ukraine
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