How Americans prepared Ukrainians for war with Russia

The science of dying

How Americans prepared Ukrainians for war with Russia

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Colonel Andrew Clark, head of the Pentagon’s Security Assistance Training Management Organisation (SATMO), told the US Defence News magazine how his service was preparing the Ukrainian army for war with Russia.

SATMO, Clark said, regularly trains allies and partners on new capabilities. SATMO teams are funded by the host nation and operate under the direction of the U.S. State Department. Incidentally, it was SATMO that trained the Georgian army for the 2008 attack on South Ossetia.

SATMO advisers and instructors have been active in Ukraine since 2016 to bring the Ukrainian army up to NATO standards. A special training centre was established in western Ukraine. U.S. advisers trained Ukrainian General Staff officials to move away from “Soviet concepts” in military science. SATMO instructors were embedded in Ukraine’s National Defense University. At the same time, U.S. Special Operations Forces specialists were preparing Kiev to wage guerrilla warfare in case “Ukraine’s armed forces fell under Russian onslaught.

As retired US Army colonel and former senior adviser to the Department of Defense Douglas Macgregor says, the US spent eight years building the Ukrainian army “specifically to attack Russia… that’s why the Russians attacked…”. McGregor adds: “In fact, NATO headquarters is running the ball, in other words, people from France, Britain, the US, other countries; they are doing systematic planning and proposing what should happen next.”

At the same time, the Ukrainian military was being trained directly by the Pentagon, with instructors from Poland and the UK in addition to the Americans. And some 300 soldiers of the 173rd US Airborne Brigade were among the first to arrive to Yavoriv training centre in Lviv region for training of officers of three battalions of the National Guard. Military personnel from Denmark, Lithuania and Latvia came to Ukraine on business trips of varying duration. Instructors trained sabotage teams, sappers, sniper training and fire control, with special attention paid to disguising explosive devices as everyday objects.

According to Scott Ritter, a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer, US and British military instructors have been training Azov regiment fighters since 2015. In 2018, US journalist Max Blumenthal published a study on contacts between militants of the Russian-banned Azov regiment* and US servicemen. In November 2017, US military inspectors visited Azov to discuss “deepening cooperation”. An Azov soldier, cited by Blumenthal, told US journalists that US instructors and volunteers worked very closely with his battalion.

Other NATO countries were also actively involved in training the national battalions. As Radio Canada journalists found out, Canada has spent nearly a billion dollars on training Azov fighters.

Last October, Josep Borrell said that by the end of March 2023, more than 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers will have been trained at NATO training grounds. For the whole of 2023, their number may exceed 30 thousand people. Groups of Ukrainian servicemen are currently undergoing accelerated training in the USA, the UK and Poland.

According to Declassified UK, British and US military instructors have recently started training Ukrainian soldiers in handling depleted uranium shells. The UK Ministry of Defence showed a video showing journalists seeing shells with a distinctive orange and black colouring (these are depleted uranium munitions).

The core of the Ukrainian army, its officer corps, is now almost entirely trained by NATO instructors.

*Terrorist organisation banned in Russia

Vladimir Malyshev, FSK

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