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Iran Press TV

US to send military advisers to Ukraine

Iran Press TV

Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:31AM GMT

The US military has announced plans to dispatch a team of advisers to Ukraine in a bid to assist Kiev in its military confrontation with pro-Russia forces in the east of the country.

Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said the aim of deploying the US military team to Ukraine is to "shape and establish an enduring program for future US efforts to support the Ukrainian military through subject-matter expert teams and long-term advisers," The Washington Times reported Tuesday.

While noting that US President Barack Obama has ordered the deployment, the right-wing daily added, "Within the next few weeks, a group of Defense Department representatives who specialize in strategy and policy will head to Kiev to evaluate specific programs that the United States may want to help bolster."

The report said that the US Defense Department has provided Ukraine with radios, individual first-aid kits, sleeping mats, neck gaiters, jackets and body armor, "but stopped short of offering anything that the country's defense officials have requested that could be perceived as direct military assistance."

The report also cites another Pentagon spokesperson, Eileen Lainez, as saying that "over the next weeks to months, additional items will move through the procurement process, including night-vision devices, thermal imagers, helmets, explosive-ordnance disposal robots, and additional radios."

The US daily pointed to the support by hawkish Republican lawmakers for the US's military support for Ukraine.

"Clearly, we have an interest in what happens in Ukraine and it's far better to have an idea of where we can maximize any support we are willing to provide," said California Representative Duncan Hunter as quoted in the report.

According to the report, earlier in the week, Arizona Senator John McCain criticized the "cowardly" US administration for failing "to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves."

The alleged downing of a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane over Ukraine last week has considerably raised tensions between the West, which backs the Ukrainian government, and Moscow.

MFB/HJL/HMV



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