- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

U.S. ground troops will train in western Ukraine next week while Kiev’s armed forces continue fighting pro-Russian separatists in the east.

The Pentagon is sending roughly 200 U.S. soldiers to Ukraine for training exercises in the western part of the nation that will begin Sept. 16. The annual exercise, named Rapid Trident, will include 1,000 military personnel from 15 countries.

Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steve Warren said the training, which will be the first time U.S. ground troops have been in the region since hostilities with Russia began, will take part through Sept. 26, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Col. Warren said that soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Italy, will take part in Rapid Trident, AP reported. The annual exercise, originally scheduled for July, was delayed due to the ongoing crisis.

The military drills will take part at the Yavoriv training center near Ukraine’s border with Poland, Reuters reported Tuesday.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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