KIEV --- The Ukrainian army is preparing to adopt for service the Javelin advanced anti-tank missile system, a senior Ukrainian military official said on Wednesday.
"The preparations for the use and the operation of the U.S. anti-tank missile systems Javelin are already being held at the Ukrainian Armed Forces," Viktor Muzhenko, chief of the general staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, wrote on Twitter, without giving details on the nature of the preparations.
Last week, Ukrainian media have reported that the Ukrainian army will train operators of the Javelin in the base of the Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Army Academy in Lviv city in western Ukraine.
According to the online media portal Ukrainian Military Pages, after an English language course in the Ukrainian university, select personnel will be sent abroad to receive training in the combat use of the Javelin.
The advanced fire-and-forget portable anti-tank missile system can attack tanks from above. It also has the ability to attack low-altitude helicopters and fortifications. It was first deployed by U.S. Army units in 1996.
Last month, the U.S. State Department announced the supplies of advanced weapons to Ukraine to update the latter's defense capabilities. The arsenal sale was reportedly to include Javelin anti-tank missiles, which Kiev had long desired.
Washington's move angered Russia, which said it would lead to "new bloodshed" in Ukraine, whose eastern Donbas region remains in the grip of an armed conflict for almost four years.
Ukraine launched a military operation in Donbas in April 2014 after armed groups seized cities and towns in the region and declared independence.
The confrontation has claimed more than 10,000 lives and left about 24,000 people injured.
Earlier, Muzhenko said that Kiev is counting on receiving the Javelin systems within six months.