This week, the United States delivered a shipment 10 Humvees to the Ukrainian government — the first installment of a $75 million aid package of non-lethal equipment that is meant to assist the fight against Russia-backed rebels in the country’s east.
But despite the overwhelming adoption of a resolution in the US House of Representatives urging President Barack Obama to provide Ukraine with lethal arms, his administration has yet to send such materiel. Debate on this issue centers on whether outfitting the country with lethal aid will serve only to escalate the conflict and trigger a regional arms race between the government and eastern separatists. A question that has received less attention is whether Ukraine’s army is even capable of effectively using the weapons it wants.
VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky visited rebel-held areas and the capital of Kiev to explore whether it would be wise for the US to arm Ukraine’s poorly trained military with advanced weaponry.
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