This past month, thousands of Ukrainian fighters completed courses with American troops on how to use new U.S.-supplied equipment. Since the United States started training Ukrainians after the war with Russia began, more than 7,000 Ukrainians have gone through lessons with American troops. That’s the latest figure from the Pentagon.

Most have been trained at American bases in Europe, including 4,000 Ukrainians training in Germany. Those are split into two brigades, one with Stryker armored personnel carriers and the other with Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and returned to Ukraine this week, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters on Thursday, March 30. 

The Ukrainian troops are taking part in mechanized brigade combined-arms training courses. Those take approximately five weeks to complete, Ryder said, adding that so far the soldiers have been finishing them on pace. 

“Operator and maintenance training on donated platforms is also ongoing, with more than 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers having completed platform training and 40 different programs of instruction on more than 20 systems since April of 2022,” Ryder said. “Training for Ukrainian Forces is an international effort being conducted in partnership with our coalition partners, who are currently training more than 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers across 26 different nations.”

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In addition, 65 Ukrainian soldiers completed training on Patriot missile batteries this week at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Ryder noted that the systems — supplied by the United States, the Netherlands and Germany — will help with air defense against Russian missiles. Ukrainian soldiers began training on the weapons in January. The Pentagon had previously said that it takes 90 soldiers to operate a Patriot battery. It’s unclear when the first Patriot system will be put into use in Ukraine. 

American troops are currently teaching 1,200 Ukrainian motorized infantry soldiers at the Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels training areas in Germany.

Ryder’s comments come amid reports of another large weapons donation to Ukraine to help replenish its stock. Reuters, citing three U.S. officials, reported that the latest package includes anti-tank rockets, fuel trucks and additional ammunition. The package will also feature bridging equipment to help with moving troops and armor. The $2.6 billion weapons aid will mainly be paid for by the  Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which lets the Biden administration buy weapons and ammunition from manufacturers instead of dipping into the U.S.’ own supply. Aid to Ukraine had already pulled a significant amount of ammunition from American stockpiles. So far the United States has supplied more than $30 billion in weapons aid since Russia invaded in February 2022. 

The war, which has gone on for approximately 400 days, has drained ammunition supplies for both Russia and Ukraine in recent weeks. As a result, the rate of artillery barrages carried out by both sides have drastically decreased. 

Since the war started, both Ukraine and Russia have suffered heavy losses. A steady stream of weapons and equipment from Western nations, including anti-tank missiles, tanks and high mobility artillery rocket systems (or HIMARS )have increased Ukraine’s fighting capabilities, but troops have had to leave the country to participate in training in those new armaments. 

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