15:18 GMT03 August 2020
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    The US military advisers are altering the training techniques for Ukrainian soldiers taking into account their combat experience in the Donbass region, California Army National Guard 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team commander Col. Nick Ducich told reporters.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The training course for the Ukrainian military undergoes changes based on assessment of troops’ experiences in the eastern Ukraine conflict, Ducich said.

    "After the units have returned to Donbass… we interviewed a small portion to see how effective our training approach was. And then we also learned what the newest advanced techniques the enemy was using to try and see how we can adjust the training," Ducich said during a media roundtable on Wednesday.

    Eastern Ukraine has been affected by the conflict between Kiev and Donbas militia since 2014. According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' Office, at least 10,000 civilians and servicemen have been killed during the crisis.

    Ducich, who was in Ukraine from November 2015 through December 2016, commanded a multinational training group of 500 soldiers.

    The commander noted that they have well-documented data on what weapons were used against the Ukrainian soldiers in the east. He added that the Ukrainian forces were able to produce "systems and techniques" to counter certain actions by the militia.

    Ducich said the primary task was to develop the first combat training center for the Ukrainian armed forces in Yavoriv. At the time of his tour, some 400 Ukrainian staff were operating in different roles at the training center.

    "In 2018, the expectation is that Ukrainian land forces will begin brigade-sized rotations at Yavoriv," the commander said.

    The brigades will be expected to execute 30-day rotations. At present, the training is conducted at the battalion-size level.

    7th Army Training Command spokesperson Lacey Justinger told Sputnik in December that the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine under the oversight of US Army Europe and the 7th Army Training Command, intended to train up to four Ukrainian battalions throughout 2017.

    Ukraine intends to achieve NATO interoperability by 2020.


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