A top U.S. military commander in Europe says the U.S military is to train Ukrainian soldiers who are battling Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

U.S. Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said Wednesday that in March a battalion of U.S. soldiers would train three battalions of Ukrainians from the Ministry of Interior. The training is to take place at the Yavariv training center in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

Hodges said the Americans will train the Ukrainians how to better defend themselves against "Russian and rebel artillery and rockets." Training will also include securing roads, bridges and other infrastructure and treating and evacuating casualties.

He spoke during a visit to NATO's Multinational Corps Northeast Headquarters in the Polish city of Szczecin.