Saturday, June 4, 2022

Ukrainians to Have Tight Training Schedule on Advanced U.S. Rockets; Zelensky Says Ukraine Won’t Attack Russian Territory; Asked about strikes on Russia, Ukraine says it's fighting "defensive war"; U.S. plans to sell armed drones to Ukraine, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photo: fadel senna/AFP/Getty Images
Ukrainians to Have Tight Training Schedule on Advanced U.S. Rockets
Pentagon says three weeks of training, down from months for U.S. troops, will be sufficient
Ukrainian troops will be sufficiently trained within a month to operate advanced U.S. rocket systems, Pentagon officials said Wednesday, weapons Kyiv hopes will enable it to win back territory occupied by the Russians.
The systems, the most sophisticated weapons the U.S. has sent to Ukraine since Russia invaded Feb. 24, require advanced training to fire and maintain.
U.S. forces receive months of training before operating them. But Ukrainian troops will receive only three weeks of training through a special mission, Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, told reporters Wednesday. Troops maintaining the systems will get an additional two weeks.
Mr. Kahl said the U.S. didn’t think the truncated training schedule would affect Ukraine’s ability to use the systems.
The effort to better equip Ukrainian forces comes as Kyiv is struggling to defend the embattled Donbas region in the face of Russian gains.
The systems, part of a package of military assistance from the U.S. to Ukraine totaling $700 million, include a wheeled rocket launcher known as High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS. It will carry the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, or GMLRS, as The Wall Street Journal reported early Tuesday. In addition, the U.S. plans to provide more artillery rounds, helicopters, tactical vehicles and radars. --->READ MORE HERE
Aris Messinis/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Ukraine Won’t Attack Russian Territory, Zelensky Says:
Moscow says new arms from Washington and Europe risk direct conflict, while Kyiv says it wants weapons to free Ukrainian cities and ports
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said supplying his country with long-range weapons doesn’t increase the risk of it attacking Russian territory, despite its invasion.
Officials in the U.S. and some European countries have expressed concern that providing Kyiv with powerful, long-range weapons systems could allow Ukraine to hit deep into Russian territory and lead to an escalation in the three-month-long war. Russian officials say Washington’s supply of increasingly sophisticated systems heightens the prospect of direct conflict between Washington and Moscow.
“We are not planning to attack Russia,” Mr. Zelensky said in an interview with Newsmax that aired late Tuesday. “We are not fighting on their territory. We have the war on our territory.”
Russia has accused Ukrainian forces of attacking border areas inside Russia, while Ukraine has denied a role in such incidents. Systems Kyiv currently operates, if fired from near Russian territory, could reach deeper into the country. Mr. Zelensky said that isn’t his goal.
“We’re not interested in the Russian Federation,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced a new $700 million security package for Ukraine that includes a guided-rocket system capable of striking targets from as far away as 48 miles. Mr. Zelensky said he wants weapons with a range of at least 75 miles.
While Ukraine’s Western allies balk at providing long-range weapons, they continue to send a variety of armaments and defensive systems.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Wednesday that Berlin would send a modern aerial defense system and antiartillery radar to Ukraine and that Germany would support Ukraine as long as necessary. --->READ MORE HERE
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