This week it was announced by the United States’ Department of Defense (DOD) that $200 million would be given to the Ukrainian military to continue the providing of training, equipment, and military advisory services. The DOD wishes to improve upon Ukraine’s internal defense capabilities by working within the framework of its current military forces. Over $1 billion has been provided to the Ukrainian military since 2014, in an effort to contain and defend against the Russian backed separatist forces occupying the Crimean peninsula.

The Department of Defense stated that,

The security cooperation builds on Ukraine’s recent adoption of the Law on National Security. This law, which provides a legislative framework for aligning Ukraine’s national security architecture with Euro-Atlantic principles, constitutes a major step toward Ukraine’s goal of achieving NATO interoperability. The implementation of these reforms will bolster Ukraine’s ability to defend its territorial integrity in support of a secure and democratic Ukraine.”

According to the Pentagon, the majority of the funds provided will be spent on operational requirements and training programs. Part of this will be accomplished by enhancing Ukraine’s military command elements through better communications, observation systems, encryption on various levels, vehicular based mobility, night vision systems, as well as medical capabilities and equipment.

The war in Ukraine is presently at a stalemate and has been dubbed the “ATO,” or Anti-Terror Operation; this is because the Ukrainian government has labeled the Separatist militants as terrorists rather than enemy combatants. Ukraine is currently striving to become a member of NATO since the Russian army is standing on their doorstep. The induction into NATO has been a subject of controversy among European members not wanting to instigate Russia. Ukraine has even begun the adoption of an M4 variant service rifle, one more step to switching away from Russian systems into NATO ones.

Featured image: Soldiers with the Ukrainian Army recon the perimeter and establish security at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center near Yavoriv, Ukraine. Ukrainian soldiers are conducting a culminating situational training exercise as part of the first rotation of Fearless Guardian II. | U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Adriana M. Diaz-Brown, 10th Press Camp Headquarters