03:45 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Ukrainian servicemen walks in the yard of a destroyed building in the Pisky village near Donetsk on October 26, 2015

    US Helps Ukraine Launch Radio Station to Boost Morale of Kiev Troops

    © AFP 2019 / ANATOLII STEPANOV
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    Ukraine’s first military radio station Army FM is in the works with help from a US non-profit organization. It would broadcast for Ukrainian soldiers fighting with militia forces in the Donbass conflict.

    One of the goals of the new radio station is to counter radio stations and channels broadcasting in the conflict zone, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    Among the organizers of the initiative is Alexei Makukhin, an adviser to the Ukrainian military. He said that troops fighting militia forces in eastern Ukraine hear a "steady barrage of radio and TV broadcasts that seem crafted to sow doubts about their mission."

    "In setting up the Ukraine army radio station, Mr. Makukhin has had help from a US nonprofit called Spirit of America. Unlike many nongovernment organizations in war zones that pledge neutrality, this one tries to align its efforts with US objectives," the article read.

    Moreover, according to WSJ, Spirit of America worked in Afghanistan, helping provide non-lethal equipment to local police forces working with US Special Forces.

    In Ukraine, the organization is providing $200,000 to outfit Army FM’s studio and to set up transmitters, one just 58 kilometers from Donetsk.

    The radio station will broadcast front-line news, songs, particularly "rap, hard rock and metal" as well as "long tales of historical Ukrainian war heroes," WSJ reported.

    Kiev launched a special military operation in Ukraine’s southeast in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of a coup.

    After independence referendums held in May 2014, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics (DPR and LPR) were established.

    In February 2015, a peace agreement was signed between Ukraine’s conflicting sides in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, a weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, and an all-for-all prisoner exchange.

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    Tags:
    military conflict, Donbass, United States, Ukraine
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