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But around 18 percent of Ukrainian land, including the Crimean Peninsula, is still under Russian control. And the Ukrainians are getting ready to liberate it with more counteroffensives once the weather permits it.
To enable the Ukrainian military to liberate the rest of the country and bring the brutal conflict to a quicker end, the U.S. military is expanding the training it is providing to the Ukrainian forces.
Expanding the Training for Ukraine
The U.S. military is increasing the training it is providing to the Ukrainian forces with a new training course at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany.
The course aims to make Ukrainian troops proficient in combined arms warfare, that is, the coordinated employment of armor, artillery, infantry, airpower, and other methods of war. With a duration of five or six weeks, the new course will initially train 500 Ukrainian troops.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Mark Milley told the Washington Post that it would take some time, suggesting a timeframe of between five to eight weeks, before the Ukrainian troops are combat-ready and can proficiently use any new weapon systems.
“We want the Ukrainians to have a capability to successfully defend their country. Ukraine is doing nothing more than defending itself, and they are trying to liberate Russian-occupied Ukraine,” Milley said.
The Ukrainian upcoming counteroffensives will require better coordination between combat arms as well as more training for the Ukrainian troops on the new weapon systems.
But the U.S. isn’t the only country helping with the training of the Ukrainian forces.
The British Contribution
The United Kingdom is also playing a big role in training the Ukrainian military to undertake further counteroffensives.
For several months now, the Ukrainian military has been sending batches of new recruits to the U.K. to go through boot camp and advanced infantry training. The courses last approximately ten weeks and train 10,000 troops at a time.
But technical proficiency in the new weapon systems Ukraine is receiving is equally important. Ukrainian troops will start training on the British Challenger 2 main battle tank “almost immediately,” according to British Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace; London is giving Kyiv a company of 14 Challenger 2 tanks.
Like most of the training on the weapon systems the Ukrainian military has been receiving, training on the Challenger 2 tank will take place in neighboring countries, such as Germany and Poland.
February 24 will mark one year since Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine. His campaign has gone terribly wrong, and the Russian forces have suffered devastating losses as a result.
More than 100,000 Russian troops have been killed and wounded in the war, and the Russian military has lost thousands of tanks, artillery pieces, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, unmanned aerial systems, and other weapon systems.
The Ukrainian military is getting ready to press on with its large-scale counteroffensives. And right now, it feels like the Russians can do little to stop them.
Expert Biography: A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.
Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated to reflect a small error in the headline.