U.S. liaising with Ukrainian forces in Poland, Pentagon says

A U.S. soldier and navy tools are seen at Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport forward of U.S. President Joe Biden’s deliberate arrival to go to Poland amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, close to Rzeszow, Poland, March 25, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) – The Pentagon on Tuesday clarified that U.S. troops in Poland had been “liaising” with Ukrainian forces as they hand over weapons to them, however weren’t coaching “within the traditional sense” following remarks from President Joe Biden on the matter.

On Monday, Biden advised reporters that whereas in Poland final week, he had been speaking to U.S. troops who had been serving to “prepare” Ukrainian forces in Poland.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby advised reporters that U.S. troops in Poland had been “liaising” with Ukrainian forces when weapons are handed over to the forces preventing again in opposition to Russia’s invasion.

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“It isn’t coaching within the traditional sense that many individuals consider coaching. I might simply say it is liaising,” Kirby stated.

He didn’t present particulars on what precisely the interactions entail or how lengthy they often lasted. It was not instantly clear whether or not the excellence between liaising and coaching had higher significance, as america tries to restrict any direct navy involvement within the conflict.

The USA and international locations from round Europe have largely restricted their navy assist to intelligence sharing and heavy provides of weaponry to Ukrainian forces, together with anti-aircraft and anti-tank techniques.

The USA withdrew its navy trainers of Ukrainian forces from western Ukraine earlier than Russia’s invasion, and the coaching website the place that they had beforehand operated close to the Ukrainian metropolis of Lviv was subsequently bombed by Russian air-launched cruise missiles earlier this month.

Kirby added that further plane, together with 10 F-18 jets, and greater than 200 personnel could be headed to japanese Europe, together with Lithuania.

This marks the newest tranche of further U.S. troops which were deployed to the area after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine greater than a month in the past.

There are at the moment greater than 100,000 U.S. troops in Europe, up from the roughly 80,000 earlier than Russian troops moved into Ukraine.

Moscow promised on Tuesday to cut back its navy operations close to the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv and Ukraine proposed a impartial standing with worldwide safety ensures whereas sustaining its territory. learn extra

The Russian pledge was met by widespread skepticism within the West.

“Has there been some motion by some Russian models away from Kyiv within the final day or so? Sure, we expect so. Small numbers,” Kirby stated.

He stated that it didn’t imply that the risk to Kyiv was over and the troops transferring away from Kyiv would doubtless be utilized in different elements of Ukraine.

“Russia has failed in its goal of capturing Kyiv. It has failed in its goal of subjugating Ukraine,” he added.

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Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali
Modifying by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman

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