US-led military exercises begin in western Ukraine

15 September 2014 12:15
(QHA) -

Rapid Trident military exercises involving some 1,300 personnel from 15 nations are due to begin in western Ukraine on September 15.

The drills will take place September 15-26 in Ukrainian city of Yavoriv without involving the live firing of weapons.

The Pentagon has said the exercise will increase the interoperability among the United States, Ukraine, and other participating nations, which range from Canada to Spain and Latvia.

It will mark the first presence of U.S. ground troops in Ukraine since Russia's annexation of Crimea in March and the east Ukrainian crisis.

On September 14, Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey said unspecified NATO countries are now delivering arms to Ukraine to equip it to fight pro-Russian separatists and "stop" Russian President Vladimir Putin.