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US military using Ukraine conflict to prepare for future wars – AP

The Russian language is being used during a wargame in California, a news outlet says

The US Army is training to fight in an environment heavily shaped by the Russian military campaign against Ukraine, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Saturday.

The purpose of this month’s wargame in California is to “prepare for future fights against a major adversary such as Russia or China,” the news agency said.

The role players in the exercise at the Fort Irwin National Training Center in the Mojave Desert speak Russian, AP reports. Around 4,500 soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division are pitted against the fictional “Devonian’ forces – the exercise’s apparent stand-in for the Russians – who control the fictional town of Ujen.

In the drill, the enemy fires rockets and missiles, all while using a sophisticated disinformation campaign to make “false accusations” against American troops. The participants in the drill “have their phones ready to film and post quickly to social media,” the report said.

“I think right now the whole Army is really looking at what’s happening in Ukraine and trying to learn lessons,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told AP. “The Russia-Ukraine experience is a very powerful illustration for our Army of how important the information domain is going to be.”

During the conflict, Moscow and Kiev have repeatedly accused each other of spreading disinformation. Meanwhile, the US intelligence has admitted that its own information about the situation wasn’t “rock solid.” A report by NBC News earlier this month quoted US officials as saying that Washington was publicizing some unverified data as part of the “information war” against Russia.

The US and their allies under NATO have been increasingly supplying Ukraine with weapons and gear since Russia attacked the neighboring country in late February. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced an additional $800 million in military aid to Kiev. The money will be spent on 155mm howitzers, armored personnel carriers, radars and kamikaze drones, among other items.

“The American people will continue to stand with the brave Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom,” Biden said in a statement.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this month that “flooding” Ukraine with Western weapons will have “a negative impact” on peace talks.

Russia launched a large-scale offensive following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

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