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US 'not training' Ukrainian troops in Poland: Pentagon spokesman

30.03.2022 00:05
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday that US troops were not training Ukrainian soldiers in Poland "in the classic sense," but were "liaising" with them as they handed over weapons.
John Kirby

"It's not training in the classic sense that many people think of training," Kirby told reporters.

"I would just say it's liaising," he added.

He did not provide details on what exactly the interactions entailed or how long they usually lasted, the Reuters news agency reported.

Kirby's statement followed remarks from US President Joe Biden, who appeared to have said that the United States was training Ukrainian soldiers in Poland amid Russia's war in Ukraine, according to a Polish website.

Last Friday, Biden visited US troops stationed in the Polish city of Rzeszów, the dorzeczy.pl website reported in an article on Tuesday.

He congratulated them on being “the finest fighting force in the history of the world,” dorzeczy.pl noted.

He also said that the “Ukrainian people have a lot of backbone. They have a lot of guts. And I’m sure you’re observing it.”  

Biden added: “And I don’t mean just their military, which is — we’ve been training since back when they — Russia moved into the — in the southeast — southeast Ukraine — but also the average citizen. Look at how they’re stepping up.”

He went on to say: “You’re going to see women, young people standing — standing in the middle of — in front of a damn tank, just saying, ‘I’m not leaving. I’m holding my ground.’ They’re incredible.”  

“We’re in the midst of — and I don’t want to sound too philosophic here — but you’re in the midst of a fight between democracies and oligarchs,” Biden also said at the time, as quoted by the White House. 

‘We’re talking about helping train the troops': Biden

On Monday, Biden was asked about those remarks, which journalists said implied US troops could be sent to Ukraine, dorzeczy.pl reported.   

Biden denied this, but his words suggested that Ukrainian soldiers were currently stationed in Poland, according to dorzeczy.pl.

“I was talking to the troops — we’re talking about helping train the troops in, that are — the Ukrainian troops that are in Poland. That’s the context,” Biden told reporters, as quoted by dorzeczy.pl.

“I was referring to, with — being with and talking with the Ukrainian troops who are in Poland,” he added.


Source: PAP, Reuters, dorzeczy.pl