Pentagon considers sending more military advisers to assist in Kiev

The new advisers would help with logistics and weapons maintenance, Major General Pat Ryder said

The US is considering sending additional military personnel to its embassy in Kiev, Pentagon spokesperson Major General Pat Ryder told Politico magazine on Saturday.

The troops would be serving a non-combat role, primarily supporting logistics, monitoring the delivery of US weapons, and assisting with weapons maintenance.

The news comes as the US House of Representatives passed a $61 billion aid bill on Saturday, with the Pentagon saying that the package would include “things like air defense and artillery capabilities.”

Although Ryder did not specify how many personnel could be sent to Kiev, citing “operational security and force protection reasons,” sources familiar with the matter told Politico that the number would be up to 60.

The additional advisers could work at the Office of Defense Cooperation at the embassy, Ryder explained.

Ukraine is struggling to regain the initiative on the battlefield in the wake of a failed counteroffensive last summer, as well as more recent losses exacerbated by the dwindling supply of foreign ammunition.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recently admitted that “things on the battlefield begin to shift a bit in Russia’s favor” with Kiev’s forces struggling “in terms of holding the line.” According to Politico, the advisers would be tasked with helping the Ukrainians with the newly delivered equipment as the fighting is expected to intensify during the summer.

Although President Joe Biden promised that American troops will not be sent to fight Russia in Ukraine, Moscow has repeatedly warned that it considers the US and other NATO members de facto participants in the conflict. Russia further criticized French President Emmanuel Macron and other European politicians who said that they could not rule out Western boots on the ground in Ukraine in the future.

Russia maintains that no amount of foreign aid would change the course of the conflict or save Ukraine from defeat.