Ukraine appeals to Israel, U.S. for assistance on unconventional warfare

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WASHINGTON — Ukraine has reached out to Israel military for discussions on military training as it faces an unremitting challenge from Moscow-backed rebels.

Officials said Kiev has invited Israel to provide training for Ukraine’s military and security forces. They said Israel could provide expertise in the field of counter-insurgency and special forces.

Oleh Mahnitskiy in London. / Andrew Winning / Reuters
Oleh Mahnitskiy in London. / Andrew Winning / Reuters

“We have started to learn about the Israeli experience in greater detail, and we will invite Israeli instructors just as we invite American instructors,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleh Mahnitskiy said.

During his briefing, Mahnitskiy refused to discuss U.S. aid to Ukraine. In July 2014, the administration of President Barack Obama refused to provide lethal equipment to the former Soviet republic.

In a briefing at the National Press Club on Nov. 15, the senior adviser said Kiev sought military assistance from Israel as well as the United States. He did not say whether Israel has agreed to provide such aid.

“We haven’t invited the Israelis, but we intend to invite them,” Mahnitskiy said.

So far, Israel has been cautious over working with Ukraine’s military amid the crisis with neighboring Russia. Moscow has seized the Crimea and was also supporting rebels against the Kiev government.

“Ukraine should learn from the experience of other states how to survive in conditions of war,” Mahnitskiy said.

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