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CNN: US considers sending American contractors to Ukraine to speed up weapons repairs

Damaged US-provided military equipment currently requires transportation to NATO countries for repairs, but officials familiar with the matter told CNN that US government considers allowing US military contractors in Ukraine to enable faster maintenance of weapons.
Ukrainian soldiers learn the details of the equipment.
Ukrainian soldiers learn the details of the equipment. Source: General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces
CNN: US considers sending American contractors to Ukraine to speed up weapons repairs

The Biden administration is moving towards lifting restrictions on American military contractors deploying to Ukraine to speed up the repair process of US-provided weapons, according to CNN.

Currently, the damaged equipment needs to be transported out of Ukraine to NATO countries like Poland and Romania for repairs, which takes more time. 

Four Officials familiar with the matter told CNN that allowing US government-funded contractors in Ukraine would enable faster repairs of high-value equipment, such as the F-16 fighter jets Ukraine is set to receive later this year.

One official emphasized that President Biden remains adamant about not sending US troops to Ukraine, particularly to avoid creating the impression that the US military is involved in the war, as Russia claims.

The US began seriously reconsidering these restrictions in recent months due to Russia’s continued battlefield gains, a new offensive in Kharkiv direction, and stalled US funding for Ukraine in Congress.

According to CNN, the decision, which has not yet received final approval from President Joe Biden, marks a significant shift in the administration’s Ukraine policy as it seeks to bolster Ukraine’s military advantage against Russia.

 If approved, the change would likely take effect this year, allowing the Pentagon to provide contracts to American companies for work inside Ukraine for the first time since the Russian full-scale invasion in 2022.

Current and former officials familiar with the discussions emphasized to CNN that the policy change would not result in a large-scale American contractor presence like those seen in Iraq and Afghanistan but rather a focused effort involving dozens to a couple hundred contractors at a time.

At the end of May, the Biden administration allowed Ukraine to use US-provided weapons to strike targets inside Russia near the Kharkiv border and later expanded this permission to include counterstrikes anywhere along the Ukraine-Russia border, which helped decrease the intensity of  Russian shelling on Ukrainian civilians.

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