Pentagon says US may send additional military advisers to Ukraine

Olha Hlushchenko — Sunday, 21 April 2024, 01:22

The US is considering sending extra military advisers to the embassy in Kyiv, showcasing the latest manifestation of US support for Ukraine as Russia is seemingly gaining momentum in the "two-year conflict".

Source: Politico, citing Pentagon spokesman Major General Patrick Ryder and US officials

Quote: "Throughout this conflict, the DOD [Department of Defense] 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."

Details: Ryder said the advisers will not engage in combat missions but rather advise and support the Ukrainian government and military.

The ODC "performs a variety of advisory and support missions (non-combat), and while it is staffed exclusively by DOD personnel, it is embedded within the US Embassy, under Chief of Mission authority like the rest of the Embassy," Ryder added.

The Pentagon has not indicated a specific number of personnel "for operational security and force protection reasons".

The additional contingent would support logistics and oversight of the weapons the US is sending to Ukraine, as noted by four US officials and a person familiar with the plans, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.

The new US contingent will also assist the Ukrainian military in weapons maintenance.

The Politico sources added that the number of additional US military personnel deployed to Ukraine will reach up to 60.

The Politico source said one of the military advisers' tasks will involve helping Ukrainians plan the maintenance of sophisticated equipment provided by the US, as the fighting is expected to escalate in the summer.

They will also support the relatively small contingent at the US Embassy in Kyiv and coordinate new arms shipments when a supplemental bill in Congress becomes law, allowing more weapons and equipment to be provided to Ukraine.

Background: The US House of Representatives has approved a bill to provide about US$61 billion in aid to Ukraine.

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