A memorandum from US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin approving the treatment of wounded Ukrainian servicemen at the US military hospital in Germany, has been confirmed by two US defense officials.

The document’s main purpose is to eliminate any red tape slowing the process of providing treatment, according to the US European Command.

The program will allow the simultaneous treatment of up to 18 Ukrainian servicemen at a US military hospital for the first time since the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center near the Ramstein US Air Base has treated wounded US servicemen for years.

The plan has been a long time coming. On May 26, Austin provided verbal instructions to start treating injured Ukrainian military. On June 29, Austin also issued verbal instructions in the “Guidelines for the provision of medical care to wounded Ukrainian servicemen.”

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At the end of April, a bipartisan group of congressmen wrote a letter to Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken appealing to the administration to support the “struggling healthcare systems” in Ukraine and Poland. One of the requests was to extend Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to treat sick and injured Ukrainians. In the letter, the congressmen also asked the administration to send armored ambulances and establish several military field hospitals along the Poland-Ukraine border.

Even though the plan was finally approved almost a month ago, the medical center still has not accepted any Ukrainian military patients.

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Now Ukrainian soldiers can be treated in the medical center if they don’t have an opportunity to be treated in Ukraine or a neighboring country. The servicemen must first be transported from Ukraine by train or car and then airlifted by the US to the Ramstein Air Base. Landstuhl medical center is approximately 700 miles from the Ukrainian border.

Ukrainian service men have already been receiving treatment in US civilian hospitals. On July 25, an adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Anton Herashchenko, posted a video on Twitter with Ukrainian servicemen receiving prosthetic legs at the hospital in Chicago. On July 26, he posted a video with Ukrainian soldiers walking on prosthetic legs.

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However, this is the first time Ukrainian servicemen are authorized to be treated in the military hospital instead of the civilian hospital.

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