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Former US firm Blackwater to train Ukrainian military for street fighting — source

December 30, 2014, 18:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The month-long program includes training in marksmanship, operations by assault groups in urban conditions, close combat and combat and logistics support for the battalion
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MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. The US private military company Academi (formerly known as Blackwater) has confirmed its readiness to start training a Ukrainian battalion for street fighting, a military-diplomatic source told TASS on Tuesday.

“The private military company Academi has confirmed to the Kiev authorities its readiness to start training an experimental battalion of 550 men as of January at the request of Ukraine’s General Staff,” the source said.

According to the source the month-long program includes training in marksmanship, operations by assault groups in urban conditions, close combat and combat and logistics support for the battalion.

The cost of instruction is estimated at $3.5 million.

“Ukraine has said it is ready to pay the money on the condition of assistance from the Ukrainian association Patriot, providing technical and financial support for the project,” the source said.

The Ukrainian military will be trained at the Yavorov centre.

Earlier this week Russia published a new version of the military doctrine, which for the first time identified the activity of foreign private military companies near Russian borders as a foreign threat. According to media reports US firms were involved in events in the south-east of Ukraine on the side of the Kiev authorities. The White House has repeatedly denied the presence of private US military companies in Ukraine.

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