First on CNN: Ukrainian troops take up defensive positions
February 19th, 2014
06:40 PM ET

First on CNN: Ukrainian troops take up defensive positions

By Barbara Starr

Ukrainian military forces have moved into defensive positions around bases and weapons depots in the past few hours, according to a U.S. defense official familiar with the latest intelligence.

The move is seen by the United States as an effort to ensure the military's facilities remain secure.

So far, the move appears to mainly involve Ukraine military personnel, with no widespread movement of armored vehicles.

All of that is leading to the preliminary U.S. assessment that the move is defensive.

"We are encouraged the Ukraine military has not been brought into this crisis and we urge them to remain on the sidelines," said Col. Steve Warren, Pentagon spokesman.

If the military forces were to enter the fighting "that would have consequences for our defense relationship," he added.

The Pentagon provides Ukraine with military education at U.S. training centers and schools, grants to purchase U.S.-made equipment for units/ships designated for NATO operations, and other seminars and training, Warren said.

The California National Guard is partners with Ukraine through the State Partnership Program, and conducts military seminars each year.

The U.S. and Ukrainian militaries have operated together in Iraq and Afghanistan, and conduct two exercises annually in Ukraine. One is a ground forces peacekeeping exercise and the other is a naval exercise.

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soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Donald George MacDonald

    I likewise defended my leaders’ chosen causes when I volunteered to enter the military in 1969 and volunteered in basic training to go to Vietnam. I was subsequently decorated with the Air Force Commendation Medal for my one year of service in Vietnam. I then served as an in-flight crewmember on a C-141 personnel and cargo aircraft for another year and delivered military personnel and equipment to over 40 countries. During that year, I routinely returned to Vietnam in order to take healthy personnel and weapons in, then to take the bodies of our boys and our injured back home.

    I performed my duties to my country faithfully, but slowly became less faithful to my changing morality and myself. Eventually, I could no longer conscientiously contribute to causes condoned and to conflicts created and continued by my Commander-in-chief. I requested and received an Honorable Discharge as a Conscientious Objector.

    I realize I was most fortunate to be born and raised in the United States where we treasure our freedom to object. Yet, every day since my discharge, I have also wondered how many more of our finest sons and daughters and then their children will somehow be coerced and convinced by government, church, family and friends that “there are no diplomatic alternatives left,” so they must go to war as bravely as we did and our ancestors did.

    February 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • Donald George MacDonald

      May there be
      peace on earth
      and goodwill
      toward all people
      in this world.

      February 23, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Reply
      • Donald George MacDonald

        Breaking Ranks

        My focused sight flashes me back again.
        I still see us more clearly here than when at war
        as our spent ranks like the undead marched
        past fire and ashes in a Mekong morning.

        Burning grass is firmly matted;
        cradles a still, slender woman.
        Flowing black hair no longer hides her embers;
        no longer shrouds her staring eyes now aglow.

        Once I barely cared to glance
        at her infectious, triumphant pyre.
        In my grave procession past
        I did not break my stride.

        February 23, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
      • Donald George MacDonald

        we are all
        born
        needing
        loving
        growing
        stronger
        needing
        learning
        wanting
        loving
        growing
        older
        learning
        hating
        stricken
        sickly
        wanting
        dying
        alone
        dead
        needing
        loving
        growing
        stronger
        born
        needing
        loving
        we are all

        February 23, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
  2. Jtref Buhfdfh

    drip...drip...drip...drip...yum...this water smells like oil but not candy...hurray for smear...now put (can-eh-duh) down like taco town...

    February 21, 2014 at 10:18 am | Reply
  3. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    February 20, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  4. saeed

    I have heard that all these demonstrators are getting funds and cash from western governments like USA Britain they are indirectly getting money this way just as the so called civil war in Syria is not a civil war but USA and its allies pushing and carteling weapons into that country i can name the countries turkey Jordan Saudi Arabia and the Kurdish people are moving huge amounts of weapons over the mountainous areas.

    February 20, 2014 at 5:50 am | Reply
    • philos

      Actually Kurds are fighting against FSA...

      February 20, 2014 at 8:36 am | Reply
    • Tom Posey

      Well put, saeed. The civil in Syria would have ended long ago had the West not butted in. The bottom line here is that the right-wingers in Washington are aspiring to take over Syria the same way they did Libya in 2011.

      February 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  5. George patton

    It now appears that the Ukrainians need to proclaim martial law in order to restore order in that country and find out who is aiding and abetting those protesters from the outside. It seems that the C.I.A. has a hand in this mess as a way to get control of that country. One doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to know better than to put anything past the C.I.A.!!!

    February 20, 2014 at 5:05 am | Reply
    • Tom Posey

      Thank you, George. How true that is!

      February 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  6. Gdrthk Ffthu

    & taco town

    February 19, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  7. Gdrthk Ffthu

    la-nch every cruz miss-le @ Can-i-da...

    February 19, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Reply

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