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June 06, 2022

Ukraine’s Training Problem

Featuring Michael Kofman

Source: The New York Times

Journalist Yana Dlugy

Britain today announced that it would send Ukraine its most advanced long-range artillery systems. The announcement came days after President Biden approved giving Kyiv advanced rocket systems that could hit Russian forces nearly 50 miles away.

Russia is not standing idly by: On Sunday, its missiles struck Kyiv for the first time in a month. President Vladimir Putin, angered by the impending arrival in Ukraine of long-range missiles from the West, warned that Moscow might hit other Ukrainian targets if the shipments continued.

But Ukraine also faces another problem with its newfound Western arms shipments: Many of the donated weapons are much more sophisticated than what the Ukrainians are used to.


Analysts say that providing weapons without sufficient training risks repeating the United States’ failed approach in Afghanistan, where it supplied the Afghan military with equipment that couldn’t be maintained without massive logistical support.

“Ukrainians are eager to employ Western equipment, but it requires training to maintain,” said Michael Kofman, the director of Russian studies at C.N.A., a research institute in Arlington, Va. “Some things it’s not easy to rush.”

Read the full story and more from The New York Times.


  • Michael Kofman

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Michael Kofman serves as a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses' Russia Studies Program, and a Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Internation...