The U.S. Is Sending Military Advisers to Ukraine

The team is the latest in a wave of aid from the Obama administration.

Ukrainian troops man a check-point near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, Donetsk region on June 4, 2014.
National Journal
June 6, 2014, 6:54 a.m.

U.S. mil­it­ary ad­visers are head­ing to Ukraine, the Air Force Times re­ports.

The small team will be there to as­sess “mid- and long-term needs for de­fense re­form,” a Pentagon of­fi­cial tells Chuck Vinch.

The White House has slowly been rolling out its as­sist­ance to Ukraine since early March, in­clud­ing a $1 bil­lion aid pack­age. Back then, in­ter­im Ukrain­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Ar­sen­iy Yat­seny­uk met with Pres­id­ent Obama at the White House and ap­pealed for mil­it­ary aid, in­clud­ing arms, am­muni­tion, and in­tel­li­gence sup­port.

Here’s what the White House has pledged to provide to the Ukrain­i­an mil­it­ary so far:

  • $23 mil­lion for de­fense se­cur­ity
  • $5 mil­lion in body ar­mor
  • About 300,000 ready-to-eat meals
  • Night-vis­ion goggles, med­ic­al sup­plies, hel­mets, sleep­ing mats, hand­held ra­di­os, and wa­ter-puri­fic­a­tion units

And for Ukraine’s State Bor­der Guard Ser­vice, which has had to con­tend with the loom­ing threat of Rus­si­an troops to the east:

20-per­son shel­ters, sleep­ing bags, fuel fil­ter ad­apters, barbed wire, patrol flash­lights, peri­met­er alarm sys­tems, fuel pumps, con­cer­tina wire, vehicle bat­ter­ies, spare tires, bin­ocu­lars, ex­cav­at­ors, trucks, gen­er­at­ors, food stor­age freez­ers, field stoves, and com­mu­nic­a­tions gear.

Ukraine will no doubt wel­come the help. Its mil­it­ary, un­der­fun­ded and plagued by shaky lead­er­ship, has struggled to push pro-Rus­si­an sep­ar­at­ists groups out of the east­ern part of the coun­try. On Wed­nes­day, Ukrain­i­an forces aban­doned a mil­it­ary out­post in the city of Luhansk after a 10-hour gun­fight with sep­ar­at­ists, who have taken over the re­gion.

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