- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

US Reportedly Dropped Plan to Train Ukrainian Militants For Fear of Provoking Russia

© REUTERS / INTS KALNINS / U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin visits LithuaniaU.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin visits Lithuania
U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin visits Lithuania - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.03.2022
After the Western-backed Maidan Square coup, overt and covert US training of Ukrainian troops and ideological militants has been ongoing for years, with US Army Green Berets and the CIA's 'Ground Branch' arriving in the country to teach conventional and insurgent warfare methods.
The White House reportedly cancelled a scheme to train Ukrainian militia for a Guerrilla war against Russia for fear of angering Moscow.
Sources told current affairs website Politico that Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin wanted to present the idea directly to President Joe Biden. But they said White House officials feared it would interfere with attempts to negotiate a diplomatic solution with Russia.
But relations between Moscow and Washington collapsed in the weeks before the Russian special operation in Ukraine, thanks to US unwillingness to address Russian security concerns with NATO and a series of expulsions of Russian diplomats.
The plan was presented to Congress last December for "a few hundred" US special operations troops to deploy to the Ukraine and coach militants in "unconventional warfare".
Russian forces have since discovered documents signed by Colonel-General Nikolai Balan, commander of the Ukrainian National Guard that incorporates neo-Nazi militias, for a major offensive against the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the east.
The documents say troops were specially selected and trained for that attack under the banner of the 80th Separate Air Assault Brigade in Yavorov near Lvov — a unit that has trained with US and British forces.
The Yavorov 'International Peacekeeping and Security Centre' barracks, just 12 miles from the border with NATO member Poland, was destroyed in a massive Russian missile strike on Sunday morning that killed up to 180 foreign mercenaries.
Austin's plan is not to be confused with other US military, CIA and NATO ally efforts to teach Ukrainian extremists to fight a dirty war.
The British Ministry of Defence said in January it was teaching Ukrainians to use the NLAW anti-tank missiles it has gifted to Kiev, in the city of Lvov itself. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Parliament that 30 soldiers of the army's Ranger Regiment had been sent to Ukraine for the mission.
And it emerged the same month that the CIA's 'Ground Branch' had been training Ukrainian units in insurgent methods to "kill Russians".
A picture taken on March 8, 2022 shows European Union's and Ukrainian flags fluttering outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.03.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
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“No such plans were ever presented” to the White House or the National Security Council, a spokesperson insisted, while a Pentagon official claimed Biden did not "cancel any planned training activities for Ukraine until US forces were repositioned in February."
But the sources that have confirmed the scheme include Congress and Pentagon insiders and two people "familiar" with White House conversations.
"This is part of a larger story in which the White House pulled its punches in the lead-up to the conflict, when we already saw that the Russians were amassing troops," Ilan Berman, a senior vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, told the outlet.
"Based on either incorrect assumptions about what Vladimir Putin wanted to do or based upon worries about provoking Putin — he didn’t need any provoking! — it’s one example of these calculations leading to a more passive approach than we could have taken."
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