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Denmark Drilling Deployment of Soldiers in ‘Ukraine-Like’ Settings

Soldiers during a drill in DenmarkInternationalIndiaAfricaRussia’s ambassador to Denmark has stressed that Copenhagen’s «interest in more bloodshed in Ukraine» shows that the Danish «arsenal of diplomatic tools is empty». He also warned of the potential for a greater escalation of the conflict and the risk of direct involvement of NATO members.Although NATO has supported Kiev lavishly with arms, training, gear and reconnaissance in the ongoing conflict, it adamantly rejects having formally committed staff to the Ukraine conflict (despite numerous claims by high-ranking Russian officials up to and including President Vladimir Putin). However, some of the alliance members are drilling their own troops in Ukraine-like scenarios.The Danish military has been training soldiers to be combat-ready in what has been labelled by the Danish command as «simulated Ukraine-like areas,» which, among others, involve Karup Airport on the Jutland Peninsula and helicopter missions to the island of Funen. The drills admittedly involve staff from the US and Sweden, which is not yet a NATO member, but has upped its collaboration with the alliance to hitherto unseen levels, while waiting for its bid to be approved by all 31 members.Although the Baltic island of Funen is more than 1,000 kilometers away from Ukraine, its flat landscape is said to bear some similarities with the sparsely forested Ukrainian steppes. Training involves, among other things, flying low just above the treetops at a height of 50 meters.»We fly low because today we are training for a scenario where there are hostile rebel forces. They are possibly armed with surface-to-air missiles, and so it is advantageous for them to see us as late as possible,» an anonymous pilot told Danish media.Lieutenant-Colonel of the Danish Air Force’s Operations Support Wing, Brian Brogger, emphasized that this «complicated exercise» mustn’t be interpreted as a sign that Danish soldiers are on their way to Ukraine but is about «preparing for different scenarios», stressing that there are NATO teams «at the highest readiness».This involves preparing for the unexpected — such as the situation that arose two years ago, when with very little notice, Danish units were scrambled to evacuate civilians from Kabul in Afghanistan during the US-orchestrated flight of Western personnel.

Escalating Tensions

The drill sparked harsh criticism from Russia’s ambassador to Denmark Vladimir Barbin who rebuked the country for escalating the tensions.

"Copenhagen's interest in more bloodshed in Ukraine shows that the Danish arsenal of diplomatic tools is empty," Barbin told Danish media. "Regarding the conflict in Ukraine, Denmark is only interested in supplying military gear and continuing the hostilities without even stopping to think that such a policy won't lead to peace. It will lead to a greater escalation of the conflict and increase the risk of direct involvement of NATO countries," he added.

Denmark, a modest European nation of fewer than six million inhabitants, has emerged as one of the Kiev regime’s top donors per head, with Copenhagen providing nearly $1 billion in financial and military aid and planning to offer more. This is accompanied by massive arms donations and extensive training programs. The Danish coalition government openly said it hoped to remain among the countries that provide the largest financial assistance to Ukraine in the future.MilitaryDenmark Aims for NATO Spending Target With Huge Ukraine Aid Package30 May, 08:00 GMTIn mid-May, Denmark announced that it would help train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets as part of a pan-European initiative alongside the UK and the Netherlands. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen herself didn’t rule out that Denmark would even donate some of its own F-16s. The Nordic nation has 40 such fighters in its possession, but they are slated to be phased out gradually as the more modern F-35s enter the air force. This idea was most recently echoed by acting Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen who said that he envisaged Denmark at some point donating the F-16s to Ukraine.Previous Danish donations include naval missiles, mine-clearing vehicles, and ammunition. Earlier in January, Denmark pledged all its 19 French-made CAESAR howitzers to Ukraine, including those still on order, and in April it made a point of procuring Leopard 2 tanks jointly with the Netherlands.

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