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A Ukrainian sniper takes aim during a mock defensive battle with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, June 29, 2017.

A Ukrainian sniper takes aim during a mock defensive battle with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, June 29, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

A Ukrainian sniper takes aim during a mock defensive battle with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, June 29, 2017.

A Ukrainian sniper takes aim during a mock defensive battle with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, June 29, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

Two Ukrainian soldiers guard a defensive position during a mock battle with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, June 29, 2017.

Two Ukrainian soldiers guard a defensive position during a mock battle with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, June 29, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

A Ukrainian soldier observes his unit's defensive position during a mock battle with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, June 29, 2017.

A Ukrainian soldier observes his unit's defensive position during a mock battle with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, June 29, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

Two Ukrainian soldiers guard a position during a mock defensive battle with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, June 29, 2017.

Two Ukrainian soldiers guard a position during a mock defensive battle with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, June 29, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

Two Ukrainian soldiers dig a fighting hole during a mock defensive battle in conjunction with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv Ukraine, June 29, 2017.

Two Ukrainian soldiers dig a fighting hole during a mock defensive battle in conjunction with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv Ukraine, June 29, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

A Ukrainian soldier guards an AGS-30 automatic grenade launcher during a mock defensive battle with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, June 29. 2017.

A Ukrainian soldier guards an AGS-30 automatic grenade launcher during a mock defensive battle with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, June 29. 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

YAVORIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian soldiers training with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine dug into fighting positions and fought a mock defensive battle with NATO allies and partner nations at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center on Thursday and Friday.

The battle was part of a 55-day rotation with the JMTG-U. American and Canadian soldiers mentored Ukrainians, teaching them combat skills, NATO defense policy and strategy.

The JMTG-U has been introducing NATO standards to Ukrainian forces since 2015 as part of a military partnership between NATO and Ukraine that began in the early 1990s after Ukraine gained independence.

“Since training here (at the JMTG-U) there have been less senseless casualties in the East,” said Ukrainian Maj. Sergei Skorodumov, section commander. “The training they are doing here is very different than what they are used to. The Ukrainian soldiers have learned some discipline here. ... And now we have great examples, like the American (and Canadian) soldiers, to look up to.”

egnash.martin@stripes.com Twitter: @Marty_Stripes


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