On Tuesday, the US Defense Department confirmed that American personnel in Poland were “liaising” with Ukrainian forces while handing over weaponry, but not training them “in the traditional sense.” President Joe Biden of the United States sparked outrage earlier this week when he stated that his troops were assisting in the training of Ukrainian military in Poland. However, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan quickly refuted the notion, saying, “Of course, we have US forces defending NATO territory.”
“Training in the traditional sense is not what many people think of when they think of training. “I’d simply say it’s liaising,” Kirby said on Tuesday, declining to go into specifics of the operation. It is critical to highlight that the United States, like every other Western country, has avoided getting actively involved in the conflict. It had also ceased training Ukrainian forces in the country’s western region early this year.
This comes as delegations from Russia and Ukraine met in Istanbul late Tuesday for the latest round of talks, following which the Kremlin announced its withdrawal from Kyiv and Chernihiv. Soon after, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby advised the public not to be deceived by the Russians, pointing out that it was merely a shift in tactics to focus on more successful military goals. “We believe this is merely a repositioning and that we should all be on the lookout for a massive offensive against other parts of Ukraine.”
“The Russians have stated that they are withdrawing soldiers from the area surrounding Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv, and reports indicate that some — but not all — Russian forces have done so so far. “However, where those troops are going and why they are going is more likely to signal a willingness to conclude a deadly and illegal war than to shift forces elsewhere to focus on alternative and potentially more successful military objectives,” the Pentagon cautioned.
Meanwhile, Kirby stated that the Ukrainian capital could not be regarded safe despite Russia’s pullout. “Russia’s goal of seizing Kyiv was not achieved,” he stated. However, its ongoing shelling across the country, including in Kyiv, suggests that it is still capable of causing significant damage to Ukraine.