US to Ramp Up Training of Ukrainian Troops

The US will have trained 900 Ukrainian National Guard personnel by the end of November, and will then begin training regular Ukrainian troops as the US seeks to continue its commitment to help that country stand up to Russian-backed separatists, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said during a joint press conference on Thursday with Ukrainian Defense Minister Colonel-General Stepan Poltorak. “The US stands behind the Ukrainian military’s right to defend itself when Russian separatist forces attack their positions,” Carter said. Poltorak visited the Pentagon on Thursday to discuss ways to move forward on the fight against Russian-backed separatists, but lethal aid and shipments of other weapons, such as anti-tank missiles, were not on the table, he said. Ukraine is working to develop its own military-industrial complex to provide additional weapons to its troops, but is “of course willing to accept assistance” from both the US and other countries around the world for protection, said Poltorak.