Training of Ukrainians to use Patriots proves US role in war: Antonov
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov reiterates that the US’ real goal is to inflict as much damage on Russia as possible, using Ukrainians as proxies.
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said the Pentagon's decision to train Ukrainian personnel to operate and maintain Patriot missile defense systems at the US Army post in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, is yet another proof of Washington’s involvement in the war in Ukraine.
"The decision by the US Department of Defense to organize training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma is another confirmation of Washington's de facto involvement in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of Nazi criminals from Kiev," the Russian diplomatic mission’s press service cited him as saying.
"It is noteworthy that our efforts to bring to the attention of the American audience the true danger of such a line by the White House are step by step recognized by the local expert community," the Russian diplomat continued.
"For example, Washington Post observers openly admitted that the training of Ukrainian troops in the United States means that US involvement into the confrontation is growing. They noted that the administration is no longer limiting itself to strengthening the defense potential of Kiev, but is transferring new weapons to the republic in order to increase its offensive capabilities," he added.
Antonov reiterated that the US’ real goal is to inflict as much damage on Russia as possible, using Ukrainians as proxies.
This comes as about 100 Ukrainian troops are set to arrive at Fort Sill in Oklahoma as early as next week to begin training on the Patriot missile defense system.
Ukraine has been requesting for months that the United States give the Patriot surface-to-air guided missile defense system, which can target airplanes, cruise missiles, and shorter-range ballistic missiles. During a visit to the United States in late December, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that the battery will make a big impact in strengthening Kiev's defenses.
Simultaneously, the US pledged one Patriot battery as part of one of several large lethal weapons packages it has provided Ukraine with in recent weeks.
Pentagon Spokesperson Air Force Gen. Pat Ryder said, on Tuesday, that the number of Ukrainians coming to Fort Sill is approximately the number it takes to operate one battery, and they will focus on learning to operate and also maintain the Patriot.
In December, the US government announced intentions to send $1.85 billion in military supplies to Ukraine, which will include a Patriot air defense missile system battery for the first time. Moscow has consistently warned Washington against arming Kiev with such weapons. Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, said the Patriot systems would be considered lawful targets by the Russian Armed Forces if Washington supplied them to Kiev.
Read next: US-led West engaged in proxy war against Russia: US congressman