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Old 10-19-2021, 01:39 PM
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Unhappy Ukraine defense minister: Don’t compare us to Afghanistan

Ukraine defense minister: Don’t compare us to Afghanistan
By: Joe Gould - Defense News - 10-19-21

Photo link:
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defence Minister Andriy Taran visit a pantheon commemorating fallen defenders of Ukraine prior to their meeting in Kiev on Oct. 19, 2021. (GLEB GARANICH/AFP via Getty Images)

KYIV, Ukraine ― Ukraine’s defense minister fired back Tuesday at Russian predictions that the U.S., in light of its rushed exit from Afghanistan, will eventually abandon Ukraine.

“I’m not going to compare relations between the U.S. and Ukraine with relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan,” Andriy Taran said. “Ukraine is a country that fights for its own independence and territorial integrity. We have no doubt of the support from our strategic partner.”

“The U.S. understands the importance of our fight, the fight of Ukraine for its independence, for the deterrence of Russian aggression,” he added.

Taran’s defiant comments came at a joint press conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who was on his first trip to Europe since America exited Afghanistan and its U.S.-backed government folded to the Taliban.

Ukraine was the latest stop in Austin’s swing through the Black Sea region to reassure allies of the U.S. commitment to them. Austin voiced America’s “unwavering” support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, said Russia is an “obstacle” to peace and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“We call on Russia to end its occupation of Crimea, to stop perpetuating the war in eastern Ukraine and to end its destabilizing activities along Ukraine’s borders, and to halt its persistent cyber attacks and other malign activities against the United States and its partners,” Austin said.

Related Post:
Eastern Europeans angst over U.S. posture in their region after Afghanistan withdrawal
By Jaroslaw Adamowski

European allies have criticized the U.S. departure from Afghanistan, and Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev assailed it in an interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestia in August.

Patrushev suggested “the ousted pro-American regime in Kabul” was not “saved by the fact that Afghanistan had major non-NATO U.S. ally status.”

“A similar situation awaits supporters of the American choice in Ukraine,” he added.

Ukraine is locked in a bitter tug-of-war with Russia, which in 2014 annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and has since been backing a deadly separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

The annexation and Moscow’s backing of rebels in the east of Ukraine, where more than 14,000 have been killed since 2014, plunged Russia’s relations with the West to post-Cold War lows. The tensions rose again this year after Russia increased troop numbers near its borders with Ukraine, including in Crimea, eliciting international outrage.

Zelenskyy has looked to U.S. President Joe Biden for increased military aid and backing for his country’s bid for NATO membership, which Russia adamantly opposes. The U.S. has given Ukraine weapons as well as a long to-do list of anti-corruption measures and other reforms.

On Tuesday, Austin and other Pentagon officials met with their Ukrainian counterparts to discuss security on the contested Black Sea and Ukraine’s implementation of defense reforms Austin and Taran agreed to when they met in Washington this summer.

Another Related article:
Russian defense chief scoffs at Western warnings on Ukraine
By Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press

Though the Ukrainian government and some U.S. lawmakers want more American arms for Ukraine, Taran ― standing beside Austin ― praised the training and equipment it has received to date. Taran highlighted secure radios, counter-mortar radars and a U.S. commitment to provide armed patrol boats for Black Sea operations.

American military advisers are helping Ukraine reach NATO standards, but it’s a mutually beneficial relationship, according to Taran.

“We share our own experience of combat actions [against] the Russian Federation, because this experience, which Ukrainian armed forces have, no one else has,” he said.

Ukraine on Monday received its latest shipment of U.S. defense aid, which included radar surveillance equipment, precision ammunition and medical supplies, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

It’s part of the $60 million tranche Biden agreed to this summer in advance of Zelenskyy’s long sought visit to the White House. The U.S. has overall committed more than $400 million in military aid this year.

With reporting by the Associated Press.

About this writer: Joe Gould Joe Gould is the Congress and industry reporter at Defense News, covering defense budget and policy matters on Capitol Hill as well as industry news.

Personal post: Russia is doing everything within its power to make the US look like a hit and run war-machine. These so-called skirmishes are really agonizingly and difficult to maintain year after year. The loss of ones soldier's is costly and most of all is constant.
You can bet Russia - China and North Korea - are no doubt telling these countries that they can't depend on the U.S. - holding off these types of battles and will suffer losses year after year. These 10 to 20 year wars lately - and are costly - and often times suffer manpower losses - as well as equipment.
Those spoken words are damming to hear and said. Trying to clean up another man's country - and be an influence in that area - and deal with the hit and run tactic's - does take a toll over time. It's costly and many lives are lost in the process.
What is the policy that is the driver that brings in US troops? I suspect many things come into play - especially when making the decisions to send in troops. All I can hope is that we've learned something - over time - and getting the people to accept these conflicts is never going to be easy. Is it raw materials - oil - of some weapon materials - we never know? And where in the hell is NATO - during these events? If they are member of which I'm sure that some of them "may offer some manpower?" If not - then I'd pull out of NATO and let them battle it out themselves. Being the Big Brother to NATO isn't what I though it was.
I could be wrong - and often times I am - but I'm so sick of these constant military issues year after year. Now we are seeing more and more deadly weapons being made and with deadlier delivery packages to the sites in conflict.
World Peace will never be. Mankind will destroy themselves and their lands way before the big bang. Space travel will be necessary just to save the species (and very few of them).
If radiation doesn't kill us - mankind will be something - other than what it - once was. Humans poison the planet - its lands - and seas. We kill one another because we can.
We poison our atmosphere every day. New deceases are becoming more frequent.
Yes - we are "our own" worst enemy. Such visions of grandeur for the few - while the others live on the scraps and breath contaminated air. (Note: This a great gift we leave
for our Kid's and Grand-kids)
We've poisoned everything we touch - we are human's gone wild - but well dressed.
I'm sure other's could put another batch of things that human's contributes to - but they are - so rare today - that mankind's dream of a better life & world is dimming more and more.
Your comments will be: What the end game is - and is open for discussion.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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