The clatter of rifle fire, the thud of mortars, and the thunder of grenades echoed across this military training ground near the Polish border.
It was nothing that many of the Ukrainian soldiers arriving here hadn’t heard before in the eastern regions of their country, and it was familiar music, as well, to the Americans who have come here to try to make them even better fighters.
The Ukrainians brought stories from the front about the enemy, the arms, and the firepower used against Ukrainian troops. For American soldiers, listening to these members of former Soviet forces talking about their adversaries, also from the former Soviet army, this has been an education. It has given them a chance to study in granular detail a great deal about the evolution of Russian combat forces in the last quarter century.
Indeed, U.S. troops and Ukrainian troops learning from each other seems to be just the kind of thing that Russian President Vladimir Putin was worrying about when he called an emergency meeting of his security council on Wednesday.