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US Troops Head to Latvia as Russia Progresses Against ‘Helpless’ Ukraine

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra(RIGA, Latvia) -- Pro-Russian mobs have taken control of more government buildings in Ukraine, as Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded the Ukrainian government pull back its troops from the southeastern part of the country.

Ukraine’s Acting President Oleksandr V. Turchynov said his country’s forces are “helpless” as Russia continues to gain ground in dozens of key cities.

Fear has spread across the region, prompting hundreds of American troops to be sent for joint training in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, where the fears of a Russian invasion are very real.

“You’ve seen what has occurred in Ukraine, Crimea, and so to them it’s a real, it’s a real threat,” said Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., the commanding general of the U.S. Army Europe.

Latvia is not a place America’s battle-hardened troops thought they would ever end up, but they arrived with gear, injury training, and live ammunition to train as the crisis in the area continues.


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