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Politico: US considers deploying extra military advisers to Ukraine

by Olena Goncharova April 21, 2024 6:34 AM 2 min read
KYIV, UKRAINE - MAY 18, 2022 - US Embassy resumes its work after a three-month break due to the Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Anatolii Siryk/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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The United States is contemplating the deployment of additional military advisers to the embassy in Kyiv as Russia appears to be gaining momentum on the front lines.

These advisers would not serve in combat capacities but instead provide guidance and assistance to the Ukrainian government and military, according to Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder.

"Throughout this conflict, the DOD has reviewed and adjusted our presence in-country as security conditions have evolved. Currently, we are considering sending several additional advisers to augment the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) at the Embassy," Ryder said in a statement to Politico, adding that "personnel are subject to the same travel restrictions as all embassy employees."

Ryder refrained from disclosing specific personnel numbers "for operational security and force protection reasons."

According to four U.S. officials and an individual familiar with the plans, who spoke anonymously due to the sensitivity of the matter, the additional troops will primarily support logistics and oversight efforts for the weapons being sent to Ukraine. Additionally, they will assist the Ukrainian military with weapons maintenance, as outlined by one of the U.S. officials and the individual familiar with the plans.

On April 20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a key foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and other allies after months of political infighting and a deteriorating situation on the battlefield. The aid package provides $60.84 billion to assist Ukraine.

The Senate is set to begin considering the House-passed bill on April 23 before it will be sent to President Joe Biden for signing.

A small number of U.S. troops have already been deployed in short rotations attached to the embassy in Kyiv, according to two U.S. officials Politico interviewed. The second official described the numbers of personnel as "onesies and twosies."

It was unclear how many additional U.S. troops would ultimately be sent to Ukraine, but two of the U.S. officials said the number would be up to 60.

Zelensky: Ukraine could sign bilateral security agreements with US, Nordic, Baltic states in near future
The president said Ukraine is moving towards “an important agreement with the U.S.,” adding that the agreement could happen after Congress approves the $61 aid bill for Ukraine that awaits an upcoming vote on April 20.

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