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Training of Ukrainians to use Patriots confirms US role in conflict — diplomat

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov added that more and more US experts are beginning to share Russia’s concerns about the danger of such policy
Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov Sergei Bobylev/TASS
Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov
© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

WASHINGTON, January 11. /TASS/. The Pentagon’s decision to train Ukrainian servicemen to use and service Patriot missile defense systems at the US Army base in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, is yet another proof of Washington’s involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said, answering to a reporter’s question.

"The decision by the US Department of Defense to organize training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma is another confirmation of Washington's de facto involvement in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of Nazi criminals from Kiev," the Russian diplomatic mission’s press service quoted him as saying.

"It is noteworthy that our efforts to bring to the attention of the American audience the true danger of such a line by the White House are step by step recognized by the local expert community," the Russian diplomat continued. "For example, Washington Post observers openly admitted that the training of Ukrainian troops in the United States means that US involvement into the confrontation is growing. They noted that the administration is no longer limiting itself to strengthening the defense potential of Kiev, but is transferring new weapons to the republic in order to increase its offensive capabilities."

"The last argument, voiced by the local journalists, vividly shows that Washington deliberately misled our country and the world, speaking about the desire to strengthen Ukraine's self-defense ability. The real goal of the administration is to inflict on Russia as much damage on the battlefield as possible, using Ukrainians as proxies," Antonov added.

Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said on Tuesday the US would start to train Ukrainian servicemen in using the Patriot air defense system at the Army base of Fort Sill in Oklahoma next week.

He said at a news conference that 90 to 100 Ukrainians will undergo the training.

In December, the US authorities announced plans to provide $1.85 billion to Ukraine in another package of military aid, which will, for the first time, include a battery of the Patriot air defense missile system. Moscow has repeatedly warned Washington against providing such weapons to Kiev. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Patriot systems would be regarded as legitimate targets by the Russian Armed Forces should Washington supply them to Kiev.