Pentagon gives updates on U.S. response to Ukraine invasion

FILE - Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. As Russia intensifies its assault on Ukraine, it is getting help from China in spreading inflammatory and unsubstantiated claims that the U.S. is financing biological weapons labs in Ukraine. Kirby called the Russian claim “a bunch of malarkey,” but in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, March 10, 2022, CIA Director William Burns also noted grave concern that Russia might be laying the groundwork for a chemical or biological attack of its own. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

FILE – Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

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UPDATED 7:24 AM PT – Tuesday, March 15, 2022

The Pentagon hosted a press conference to provide an update on the war in Ukraine. Department spokesperson John Kirby addressed a recent airstrike conducted on a training facility in Ukraine over the weekend.

During the briefing Kirby revealed that the Florida National Guard conducted training exercises at the facility a few weeks prior to the attack, but that the facility was uninhabited at the time of the strike.

“Our understanding is that these were cruise missiles fired from aircraft, long range, on the Yavoriv training facility there in Western Ukraine,” he explained. “I can assure you that there were no U.S. military personnel there at that training facility. That’s where the Florida National Guard had been doing their training before they left a few weeks ago. No U.S. contractors there, no U.S. civilians, no government, U.S. government personnel there at all.”

Kirby also gave an update to the Pentagon’s reaction to Russia’s progress in the aftermath of the attack. He also confirmed the absence of any plans to establish a no-fly zone, stating Russia lacks the air superiority over Ukraine to justify the move.

“It doesn’t change,” he noted. “I think our general understanding that they continue to be frustrated by a very stiff Ukrainian resistance and they are not making the kind of progress on the ground that we believe they thought they would be making by this point.”

The briefing concluded with Kirby addressing the Biden administration’s efforts to send aid to Ukraine. According to the spokesman, they are close to running out of the $350 million package signed by President Joe Biden.

“We’re nearly at the end of the $350 million package that the president signed over a week ago,” he stated. “We’ve got almost all of that into their hands. The remaining the remaining items should be arriving very, very soon. And then we are already at work trying to figure out what the next drawdown package of $200 million is going to look like.”

In the meantime, the Pentagon remains confident in the Ukraine military’s efforts to fight off the Russian invasion.

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Amber Coakley
Author: Amber Coakley

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