Thursday, September 4, 2014

US sending 200 troops for drills in Ukraine: Pentagon

US sending 200 troops for drills in Ukraine: Pentagon: The United States will send about 200 troops to take part in a US-led annual exercise in Ukraine later this month, the Pentagon said Wednesday, in a show of solidarity with Kiev.

The presence of 200 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade will mark the first deployment of US ground troops to Ukraine since the Kiev government's conflict with pro-Russia separatists erupted earlier this year.

Dubbed "Rapid Trident," the yearly exercise was set for September 13-26 and will involve more than a dozen countries, including "approximately 200 personnel" from the US military, spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said.

"It's a peacekeeping exercise," said Warren, and would focus in part on countering homemade bombs.

The drill was due to be held in Yavoriv, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) from Lviv in western Ukraine.