Polish-Ukrainian-Lithuanian brigade starts drills

A Polish-Ukrainian-Lithuanian brigade, the LITPOLUKRBRIG, has started military exercises in Yavoriv near Lviv in Ukraine, the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform said on Monday, quoting the country's chief of staff.

The 'Three Swords' manoeuvres, which will last until July 31, also involve American military monitors, according to the Ukrainian agency.

The drills are taking place on Ukrainian territory for the first time.

The Ukrainian chief of staff said the manoeuvres are of a defensive nature and their goal is to assess the brigade's capabilities.

More than 1,200 soldiers and 200 vehicles will take part in the exercises that have been divided into four stages.

The agreement to create the three-nation brigade was signed in 2014 in Warsaw, and the unit was formed in the autumn of 2015, reaching full operational capability in January 2017. Its command is headquartered in Lublin, eastern Poland, and its sub-units maintain readiness in their respective countries.