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US, Ukrainian military commanders meet for the first time.
Valeriy Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, had his first-ever in-person meeting with Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Poland on Jan. 17.
“I extended my gratitude to General Mark Milley for the unwavering support and assistance provided by the United States of America and allies to Ukraine,” Zaluzhny wrote on Facebook.
The two generals also spoke about the Ukrainian military’s further needs for fighting against Russian aggression.
The meeting comes after about 100 Ukrainian troops arrived at the Fort Still training base in Oklahoma, where they will be trained to use Patriot air defense systems - the most advanced air defense weapon in its arsenal that Kyiv has been long pleading for.
The U.S. announced it would supply Patriots to Ukraine at the end of December, ahead of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington, D.C.
Patriots, of which Germany also committed a battery in early January, aim to significantly improve the defense of Ukrainian cities and critical infrastructure against regular Russian missile attacks.
The meeting also comes ahead of the Ramstein defense summit on Jan. 20, where Western allies are expected to announce additional military aid for Ukraine.
Ramstein summits are held to coordinate efforts to provide military aid to Ukraine. They were named after Germany's Ramstain Air Base, where the first summit was held in April 2022.