Ukraine to host US-led military drills in mid-September

Ukrainian servicemen ride in an armored vehicle near Debaltseve, Donetsk region August 29, 2014. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

WARSAW: Ukraine will host U.S.-led military drills later this month as Kiev's army fights pro-Moscow rebels in the east of the country, the Polish Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

The U.S. military-led exercises, dubbed "Rapid Trident 14," are to be held September 13-26 in western regions bordering NATO-member Poland, the ministry said in a statement.

Soldiers from fellow NATO allies Britain, Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Romania and alliance partners Norway and Moldova will join U.S. and Polish troops for the annual event in Ukraine, which is not in NATO.

"They will conduct cordon and search patrols and training missions during the first week, as well as medical evacuation and convoys and the detection and prevention of improvised explosive devices," the ministry said.

The exercises come as Ukraine is struggling with a separatist rebellion and suspected Russian military operations in its east.

Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in March.

Around 2,600 people have died in the conflict and more than half million have been forced to flee their homes since it began nearly five months ago.





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