June 14th, 2024 | 6:54

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Ukraine formally asks NATO to send troops

Jesus Carames

May 17, 2024 | 7:22 p.m.

NATO closer to sending troops to Ukraine at critical time for kyiv

The world is on a dangerous slope toward a possible Third World War with nuclear weapons, according to The New York Times. NATO appears to be seriously considering sending troops to Ukraine to play the role of "instructors" at a time when kyiv is desperate to train new forces. This move would bring the troops closer to the front positions.

On Thursday, the NY Times reported: "NATO allies are moving closer to sending troops to Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces, which would be another blurring of a previous red line and could more directly involve the United States and Europe in the war." What has changed is that Zelensky's government is now formally requesting it for the first time in the conflict, according to officials.

Ukraine's Requests and NATO's Response

Ukrainian officials have asked their American and NATO counterparts to help train 150,000 new recruits closer to the front for faster deployment. Although the United States is still saying 'no' at this point, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. has indicated that the eventual deployment of trainers inside Ukraine appears inevitable. "We'll get there eventually, eventually," he said.

General Brown admitted that US and NATO trainers in Ukraine would be easy targets under Russian air superiority bombing: "For now, an effort inside Ukraine would put 'a lot of NATO instructors at risk' and would likely mean deciding whether to use precious air defenses to protect the instructors rather than critical Ukrainian infrastructure near the battlefield."

On the same day, Ukrainian President Zelensky in his evening speech made a desperate appeal to Western allies, saying that "Russia is trying to expand the war" and that "We must force Russia into a real and just peace by all means." Earlier in the week, Zelensky abruptly announced the cancellation of all his scheduled trips abroad due to the crisis in Kharkiv, which is worsening due to Moscow's cross-border offensive.

Implications of the Presence of NATO Troops in Ukraine

Although there have long been indications that up to dozens of special forces troops from several Western countries are already on the ground in Ukraine, sending NATO trainers would mark a colossal escalation. Russian forces have already been actively attacking warehouses with Western weapons, and Putin has vowed to "burn" Western-supplied tanks and equipment.

Currently, NATO already oversees a significant program of training Ukrainian troops in places such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland and even the United States, where F-16 pilots are being trained in Texas and Phoenix. A training program existed on Ukrainian soil before the Russian invasion of February 2022, however this was dismantled in the days and weeks before the start of the war.

International Reactions and Concerns

Discussion on this issue began publicly with French President Emmanuel Macron suggesting the idea of ​​sending Western troops to Ukraine months ago. Lithuania has since expressed its willingness to act and Estonia has recently stated that it is "seriously" considering sending its troops. According to recent statements:

Estonia has been "seriously" discussing sending troops to Ukraine in roles located far from the front lines, according to a national security adviser.

Madis Roll, national security adviser to the president of Estonia, told military news outlet Breaking Defense that his country's leaders were evaluating the feasibility of sending Estonian soldiers into "rearguard" roles that would not see direct combat in Ukraine. This move would help alleviate the manpower crisis in Ukraine and allow more soldiers to be sent to the front.

The Kremlin has repeatedly warned that this would trigger a direct war with NATO if it deploys forces to Ukraine.

Last month, Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur gave a revealing interview in which he stated that All NATO member countries already have military personnel in Ukraine, although they are not directly involved in hostilities, but rather act in advisory roles. This revelation has caused alarm in Moscow and has been seen as a step towards greater NATO involvement in the conflict.

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