Fact Check: Are U.S. Troops on the Ground in Ukraine?

11/2/22 

Troops of the U.S. Army 4th Infantry Division don camouflage paint while participating in the NATO Iron Wolf military exercises on October 26, 2022 in Pabrade, Lithuania. Social media users have been commenting on a more direct presence of American military personnel in Ukraine.SEAN GALLUP/GETTY IMAGES

Since Russia’s President Vladimir Putin started his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. has sought to provide military assistance to Kyiv without causing an escalation of the conflict. But some social media users note a direct American role on the ground.

Ukraine is not a member of NATO and so the U.S.-led alliance is not directly involved in the war. President Joe Biden has repeatedly ruled out American troops fighting in Ukraine, though the U.S. and its allies provide equipment and training to Kyiv’s forces.

However, Twitter users reacted to news that American military personnel would be going to Ukraine to help with its war effort. So what is the nature of this American involvement?

The Claim

“Let me fix this headline for you: U.S. military troops boots on the ground in Ukraine,” tweeted Amber Smith, the former Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense next to a story about the first official visit of U.S. military personnel to the country since the war began.

Talk show host Garland Nixon said that Biden “has US troops on the ground in Ukraine” while Pamela Hensley wrote that the Pentagon “officially confirmed today that US troops are on the ground in Ukraine. Without a vote from Congress? Impeach Biden now!!”

The Facts

Social media users reacted strongly to the news that the Pentagon had sent experts into Ukraine to inspect American-supplied arms being used against Russia. The Pentagon did not specify how many staff, when they were sent, or where they would operate.

The information emerged in multiple news reports, including NBC News and Associated Press, based on a briefing of journalists by unidentified senior U.S. defense and military officials.

Military.com report cited comments by Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder that the inspectors would not be near the frontline, and that “Ukrainians are working very closely with us to provide insight and tracking of those capabilities in places where it’s not safe for U.S. personnel to go.”

U.S. troops in Ukraine departed on February 14, 10 days before the invasion, apart from those who provide security in the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.

This means that the group in Ukraine will play the most direct role for American personnel in the country since the start of the war.

However, Biden has pledged that U.S. troops would not be sent into the war. The experts led by U.S. defense attaché Brig. Gen. Garrick Harmon, per NBC‘s report, will help keep track of the equipment the United States has sent Ukraine.

The U.S. has committed around $20 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since January 2021. Some Republicans have expressed concern about how effectively Kyiv is using this military support.

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said in October that if the GOP were to win a majority in the House after the midterms, it would not issue a “blank check” to Ukraine.

McCarthy and other GOP leaders sought to clarify that the party would not seek to reduce support for Ukraine, but wanted better scrutiny of U.S. aid.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. defense official said on Monday that there was no “credible evidence of the diversion of U.S.-provided weapons” and that Ukraine had been “very transparent and able to support inspections.”

Newsweek contacted the Pentagon for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/russia-ukraine-pentagon-weapons-biden-1756387

4 comments

  1. If Ukraine were fighting another foe, I’m sure that Biden wouldn’t hesitate to send in US troops to help Ukraine. But, he’s not, just because of a pencil-dicked little old man, waving a nuclear stick that he won’t ever dare to use.
    We don’t know everything, which is good, and so who knows what’s really going on in this regard in Ukraine?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. “House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said in October that if the GOP were to win a majority in the House after the midterms, it would not issue a “blank check” to Ukraine.”

    Yes he did try to clarify it later but the damage was done. Exactly what Ukraine needs right now IS a blank cheque, because America (and Britain) have a responsibility to provide just that. The US and UK should be allocating at least 10% of their military budget to Ukraine, plus 20% of their overseas aid budget.

    “Pamela Hensley wrote that the Pentagon “officially confirmed today that US troops are on the ground in Ukraine. Without a vote from Congress? Impeach Biden now!!”

    Who is she? There is an actress of that name; is that her? She sounds like a putlerite.

    The putinazis claimed yesterday that the RN is in Ukraine; at Ochakiv, and our techs helped the Ukrainians to hit the Makarov. I wish it was true! It’s probably bollocks though.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. U.S. and U.K. both need to bolster any alleged teams in Ukraine. U.S. should put forth measures now to authorize U.S. troops to train, advise, as back up defense, in maintenance capacity, and assisting in supply dispersal(as well as having a hand in accountability). U.S. and U.K. must prepare to wave article 5 of NATO and declare war on mafialand. Measures should also be sped though legislation to authorize boots on the ground to free up AFU forces to assist in needed areas along the line of contact.

    Quote from AirForceTimes:
    As the situation shifts in Ukraine’s favor, the soldiers want for only one thing: extra artillery and tanks to crack Russia’s defenses and exploit breakthroughs in the inevitable assault on Kherson.

    “We have almost everything we need,” Vadym says. “We just need a bit more artillery, to fight against their guns, and especially tanks — maybe the most important element in an attack. There will be positive developments here [in Kherson] very soon.”

    Black panthers if possible as well as other platforms that Armor units can already use or quickly learn that can be provided quickly and in large quantity. Excalibur ammo production must hit overdrive and surge what we can now of it as well as more artillery systems Ukraine is already using(and FFS be generous){This trickle in crap is driving me nuts}. ATACMS are REQUIRED. Pentagon must be convinced AFU needs them and will use them responsibly) Yes I know AFU has gone above and beyond in this aspect already. Above all domestic production must be boosted or created(in assistance with willing companies) in areas that are struggling with slow or no provision. Oh, and give Ukraine F-16s already.

    Also a very high priority area, bolstering and expanding the layer approach for air defense. Every enemy drone, missile, and aircraft = Ukrainian lives saved.

    Total Victory for ALL of Ukraine!!!🇺🇦

    Death to the temporary rashist occupiers!!!💥🔥☠️

    Liked by 1 person

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