Ukraine takes refurbished US Coast Guard boats

Ukraine received two refitted former US Coast Guard vessels meant to reinforce the country’s navy Tuesday as Russia masses thousands of troops and military equipment on the border between the two countries. 

The Ukrainian navy announced that the boats had arrived at the Black Sea port of Odessa.

“We appreciate the contribution of the United States to deter the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine,” said naval commander Oleksiy Neyizhpapa.

The vessels are part of more than $2.5 billion in military assistance Ukraine has received from the US since 2014, when Russia illegally annexed the province of Crimea, setting off a war that has claimed more than 14,000 lives. 

Meanwhile, Russian forces​ near eastern Ukraine have stepped up their combat readiness and have been carrying out large-scale exercises, Ukraine’s defense ministry said Tuesday. 

The patrol boat will be involved in ensuring Ukraine’s maritime security in the Black Sea and the Sea of …

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