Mid-Civil War and with a ceasefire that’s barely holding, about 300 US paratroopers arrived today in Lviv, Ukraine, planning a training operation which Russians warn could serious destabilize the situation.
The sudden US military presence “is a long way from helping toward a settlement of the conflict,” cautioned Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, while other officials said it risked making Ukraine’s forces more aggressive in the disputed east.
Lviv is in the far west, while the war itself is in the east, along the Russian frontier, so the US troops aren’t exactly in the middle of the conflict. That they’re training potential combatants in an unresolved war, however, certainly raises some eyebrows.
And indeed, the Pentagon previously delayed this training mission because the Obama Administration didn’t want to threaten the then-new ceasefire. It’s unclear what changed in their view, but the same concerns seem to apply now.