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US starts training Ukrainians to fight pro-Russia forces

US and Ukrainian soldiers attend an opening ceremony of the joint Ukrainian-US military exercise 'Fearless Guardian' at the Yavoriv training ground in the western region of Lviv on April 20, 2015US paratroopers on Monday began training Ukrainian government forces who will fight pro-Russian separatists in the east, angering Moscow as the deadly conflict rumbles on in the ex-Soviet country. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko welcomed troops from the US 173rd Airborne Brigade in a rain-soaked ceremony at a military base in Yavoriv, western Ukraine, to launch Operation Fearless Guardian. “We are the eyewitnesses and direct participants in forming the new Ukrainian military, which like the phoenix is rising again after years of decline,” Poroshenko told the assembled troops. Officials said some 300 US troops will train 900 members of Ukraine’s National Guard, which is deployed in the east where heavy artillery fire is rumbling on despite a February ceasefire.

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