Ukraine update: The U.S. military isn’t in Ukraine, but there’s U.S. in the Ukraine military

Ukraine update: The U.S. military isn’t in Ukraine, but there’s U.S. in the Ukraine military

Shortly after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began, the Ukrainian military itself began to change. In part, that’s because Ukraine called up hundreds of thousands of people who were in the reserves or part of the territorial defense forces—something like our National Guard. Ukrainians also began to volunteer for service in large numbers, including Ukrainian women. A large number of Ukrainian women signed up for service following Russia’s 2014 invasion, and Putin’s second take at grabbing its eastern neighbor has only increased the percentage of women in the ranks.

Canada may have had to officially bar members of its own military from heading to Ukraine to sign up with the Ukraine Foreign Legion, and other governments are taking steps to block what some see as military adventurism. But there are also a number of countries reporting that soldiers have gone AWOL in order to make their way to Ukraine … and no one seems to be in a hurry to hunt them down. In fact, Ukraine has been getting signups from some unexpected people in unexpected places. But it probably doesn’t surprise anyone that among those signing up to fight are a reported 3,000 American volunteers

Getting into combat in Ukraine isn’t as simple as booking a flight to Kyiv. In part, because there are no flights to Kyiv. Most of those signing up are heading for Poland, where they make their way to Lviv on the Ukraine side of the border, and get involved with training for some role with the Ukrainian military.

As with the people in the regular military, most of these folks are unlikely to end up firing a gun in combat—and frankly, for a lot of them, that’s a very good thing. But the military needs truck drivers, medics, and all the other support positions that enable someone at the tip of the spear to carry that gun. Volunteers can fill many of those roles.

Even so, some of those headed for Ukraine are finding themselves in the thick of the action, and some of those Americans have begun to arrive on the front lines. There they have joined Ukrainian farmers in the spring tank harvest: 

American volunteer in Ukraine shows off a recently destroyed Russian tank

— Woofers (@NotWoofers) March 24, 2022

And helped defend Kyiv from the Russian forces in nearby suburbs.

📽️US volunteers near #Kyiv #Ukraine #UkraineRussiaWar

— (@Militarylandnet) March 24, 2022

And found themselves genuinely on the front lines of action.

Two US Army combat veterans, from Texas & Ohio, volunteers now on the front lines east of Kyiv, defending Ukraine.

— Nolan Peterson (@nolanwpeterson) March 18, 2022

Some of those in Ukraine aren’t veterans of other actions. But some come to that country with a wealth of experience.

My latest — why one American volunteer, a US Army veteran of Afghanistan, decided to fight for Ukraine.

— Nolan Peterson (@nolanwpeterson) March 23, 2022

Some of these men and women are going to die there, defending Kyiv or taking the fight to Russian soldiers. But they’re all volunteers, and that’s something that can’t be said about the civilians around them—or the Russian conscripts dragged into this fight.

Thursday, Mar 24, 2022 · 11:38:50 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

The 102nd Fighting Tractors take a loss. 

A tractor hit a mine in Kharkiv Oblast.

— Rob Lee (@RALee85) March 24, 2022

Friday, Mar 25, 2022 · 12:03:51 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Military Land has their daily summary of the situation out.

  • Ukrainian forces liberated Lukyanivka and Lukashi west of Kyiv. 
  • Russian troops attacked Ukrainian checkpoints at Slavutych for the first time, bypassing Chernihiv.
  • “Russian troops seem to given up on Kharkiv.” But they’re continuing to shell and launch rockets into the city anyway.
  • According to this report, the Russian ship “Orsk” was sunk by a Bayraktar TB2 drone.
  • Russian troops captured more of Mariupol, fighting continued street to street, with the area under Ukraine’s control shrinking.
  • While Ukrainian artillery shelled an airfield near Kherson, Russia turned their artillery on residential buildings causing “vast damage.”

✍️The 29th day of Russian Invasion – summary of situation on all frontlines, including maps. Available on #Ukraine #UkraineInvasion #UkraineRussiaWar #maps

— (@Militarylandnet) March 24, 2022

Friday, Mar 25, 2022 · 12:36:54 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

If this is the case, Russia could be seriously running short of missiles soon.

BREAKING: A U.S. assessment says that Russia’s precision missiles are suffering from failure rates of up to 60%

— Samuel Ramani (@SamRamani2) March 25, 2022

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