Pentagon leak: Kirby confirms US Special Forces presence in Ukraine
As the Pentagon document leak probe heats up, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby admits US Special Forces are present in Ukraine.
When asked about leaked Pentagon documents revealing that there are US Special Forces operating inside Ukraine, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby confirmed to Fox News what has been a debate for over a year, and admitted the presence of US special forces in the country.
However, Kirby declined to disclose the specific number of US troops on the ground.
"I won't talk to the specifics of numbers and that kind of thing," Kirby said, "But to get to your exact question, there is a small US military presence at the embassy in conjunction with the Defense Attaché's office to help us work on accountability of the material that is going in and out of Ukraine."
Furthermore, the top US official attempted to downplay his own revelations by claiming that those soldiers "are not fighting on the battlefield." In contradiction, Fox News stated without citing a source that American soldiers offer undefined security services.
Despite all this, Kirby further stated, "There has been no change to the president's mandate that there will not be American troops in Ukraine fighting in this war."
Back in February 2022, US President Joe Biden said, “Our forces are not and will not be engaged in the conflict,” adding, “Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the east.”
Here's what you need to know
As early as March 2, over 100 intelligence papers were posted on Discord, a social media platform popular with gamers, and appeared to contain classified information on Ukraine, Russian military activity, China, and the Middle East.
The document pointed out US and NATO plans for Ukraine's spring offensive against Russia, eviscerating information regarding the weaponry, battalion strengths, and other sensitive data regarding the war in Ukraine.
One paper dated March 23, asserts that the UK has the most presence of special forces in Ukraine (50), followed by NATO allies Latvia (17), France (15), the US (14), and the Netherlands (1).
The location and purpose of the forces are not specified in the document.
In a similar context, the UK's Daily Mirror reported that a private military firm in an undisclosed European nation had paid for scores of "retired" SAS operatives to travel to Ukraine and lend their experience to Kiev. The Times claimed shortly after those revelations that many SAS members had "returned" to Ukraine to instruct Kiev's army on the use of anti-tank rockets developed in the United Kingdom.
In November, The Grayzone revealed that Ukrainian saboteurs aiming for Crimea had been receiving training from British special operators through a for-profit organization named Prevail Partners. Up to 300 Royal Marines were sent to Ukraine in December, according to a British military journal, for "discrete operations."