US sending troops to Ukraine for war games to warn Russia

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US Army Secretary John McHugh has warned the Russian military over the crisis in Ukraine as American troops are holding war games in the European country.

US sending troops to Ukraine for war games to warn Russia

“If anyone questions the United States’ commitment to security in the Black Sea region, they might want to take a look at what is happening at Rapid Trident 14,” he said on Friday.

McHugh and top American commanders are in Ukraine to watch the military drills, known as Exercise Rapid Trident.

The US Army is conducting the exercise with 15 other countries in western Ukraine. Hundreds of American troops take part in the war games.

The maneuvers come as tensions have escalated between Washington and Moscow after the US accused Russia of supporting pro-Russian forces in Ukraine, an allegation denied by the Kremlin.

McHugh said Washington and its allies attempt to demonstrate their commitment to other nations in different ways.

“But none of those ways speaks more clearly, more affirmatively about our commitment than when we send our men and women in uniform to train alongside nations that you’re seeing here today,” he was quoted as saying by Stars and Stripes.

The US official also noted bigger nations “must never be allowed to bully the small or impose their will at the barrel of a gun or with masked men taking over buildings.”

On Thursday, President Barack Obama once again condemned Russian “aggression” in Ukraine.

Obama said Moscow’s actions are designed to undermine Kiev’s reform plans, adding that Washington and its partners would continue to build pressure on Russia and support Ukraine’s efforts to reform its economy.

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