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Russia Ukraine conflict

US started training Ukrainians on Howitzers in country outside of Ukraine: Pentagon

Four flights of US military aid landed in the region over the last 24 hours and another four flights are expected in the next 24 hours, according to the senior defense official.

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The US has begun training Ukrainians on the use of Howitzer artillery systems “in a country outside of Ukraine,” a senior Pentagon official revealed Wednesday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that around 50 Ukrainian trainers were being taught on the systems and that the training would take “about a week.”

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The Pentagon said Ukraine had received new aircraft on Tuesday, but the official said these comments were inaccurate. Kyiv received parts from Europe, which, in turn, helped them fix inoperable aircraft.

As a result, Ukraine now has at least 20 more fighter jets than it did a few weeks ago due to the repaired parts.

According to the senior defense official, four flights of US military aid have landed in the region over the last 24 hours, which will be transported to Ukraine, and another four flights are expected in the next 24 hours.

The Donbas

Russia has added at least four new battalion tactical groups (BTGs) inside of Ukraine, the official told reporters.

At least three BTGs have been sent to the east in the Donbas.

The US still assesses that the airspace over the Donbas remains “contested,” the official noted. They added that Russian jets were not staying in Ukrainian airspace “very long” and sometimes not at all due to Ukrainian air defenses.

On Tuesday, a European official said Russia’s main objective was to capture Mariupol, but capturing the Donbas was also a priority. The other goals for Russia include:

  • Securing a land bridge to Crimea via Mariupol
  • Controlling Kherson, which is critical for freshwater canals to Crimea
  • Seizing more territory to be used as a buffer or negotiating chip during potential peace talks

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