Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Ukraine Unspun

U.S. Military Contractor Says No Personnel In Ukraine Now Or Ever

Pro-Russian protesters clash with police as they try to occupy a regional administration building in Donetsk earlier this week. Russian media are reporting that staff from a U.S. military contractor have been assisting Kyiv authorities in eastern Ukraine.
Pro-Russian protesters clash with police as they try to occupy a regional administration building in Donetsk earlier this week. Russian media are reporting that staff from a U.S. military contractor have been assisting Kyiv authorities in eastern Ukraine.
A private military contracting firm has denied a claim by the Russian Foreign Ministry that it sent personnel to southeastern Ukraine.
"We have not done any work in Ukraine," a woman who did not identify herself told RFE/RL in a phone call to Greystone's office in Chesapeake, VA. "We have not deployed anyone at any time, and we are not planning to."
Greystone was once affiliated with the controversial Blackwater group -- which has since been renamed Academi -- but now operates independently. While the group denies working in Ukraine, it "provided executive protection services in Russia," according to a September 2012 post on its website.   
In an April 7 statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused Kyiv of working alongside the ultranationalist Right Sector and 150 Greystone contractors disguised as members of an elite Ukrainian army unit.
"The organizers and participants of this provocation assume responsibility for creating a huge threat to the rights, freedoms and the lives of innocent citizens of Ukraine and to the stability of the Ukrainian state," the statement said.
The statement followed a string of stories in Russian media, which all apparently derived from an April 7 report by RIA Novosti, a Russian state-run news agency, citing an anonymous Ukrainian police source. 
The report spread quickly and was broadcast on Russia's state-run First Channel, which repeated the RIA Novosti claim that the contractors were there to "quickly and firmly deal with protesters."

WATCH: News Report By First Channel (In Russian)

A State Department official said the U.S. does not have any military units in Ukraine. Geoffrey Pyatt,  the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, called the claim "rubbish" on Twitter.
The accusations are only the most recent in a string of loosely sourced reports by Russian state media attempting to tie American contractors to events in Ukraine.
In late March, the ITAR-TASS news agency, citing an anonymous member of the Ukrainian security services, claimed that interim President Oleksandr Turchynov had developed a plan to hire Greystone to provide security in the east of the country. And in early March, Russian outlets reported widely on a video posted to YouTube that claimed to show "Blackwater" troops operating in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine.  
A Ukrainian Foreign Ministry statement said the "raving" claims of their Russian counterparts were meant as a provocation on a day that pro-Russian protesters occupied government buildings in three cities in Ukraine's east.
Protesters in Donetsk, who still control the city's administrative building, have declared an independent "People's Republic of Donetsk" and called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to send a "temporary peacekeeping contingent."
Kyiv says the protests has been organized and paid for by Moscow and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Russian agents have been sent to eastern Ukraine to create "chaos." 

-- Glenn Kates, with reporting by Carl Schreck
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Catherine Fitzpatrick from: New York
April 08, 2014 18:03
We didn't just spread the story, we debunked it from start to finish. You can see how the Russian government officials flogging it can't even keep the numbers straight and the story changes in the telling from 300 to 150 soldiers:


What gives these kinds of fake Kremlin disinformation stories legs is when people retweet them, and then coyly say that RT does not equal endorsement, or that they're only asking questions about it. But they ask the questions not of Russian officials, who have very sketchy anonymous sources; they ask the questions of the US government or US military contractors, as if they have to "prove they are not a camel".

Then there's this film itself, which proves absolutely nothing. We have plenty of evidence of the GRU in Ukraine. We have zero evidence of any US contractors.

by: Ray Finch from: Lawrence, KS
April 08, 2014 19:14
Nice report, but for the layman it is almost impossible to sift fact from fiction. After the helpful exploits of people like Nuland and McCain on the streets of Kiev, the notion that the US would employ mercenaries in Ukraine is certainly plausible. I’m equally certain that the Kremlin is using paid thugs in Eastern Ukraine today. Truly, the first casualty in any conflict is the truth, and I applaud RFE for at least trying to set the record straight.

by: Jack from: US
April 09, 2014 00:03
RFERL is disseminating anti-Russian propaganda as usual, which is RFERL's primary mission. Russian President Putin has obligation to liberate Ukraine and other Eastern European countries suffering under Washington's mafia. Senator McCain was in Kiev to open Al Qaeda office, and help promote peace and stability like he did in Syria
In Response

by: John from: The Desert
April 09, 2014 14:33
Jack your non-use of grammar articles has you leaning toward the east and not the west as your location attest.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 09, 2014 03:56

In his last statements about situation in Ukraine, Saakashvili
was righ - but we all knew it since old USSR. However,
one point must be updated:
Metastases go farther and deeper than he described it..
From minds of USSR populations controlled by Telepaths
and NLW-"Korobochkas"that makes even most resistant to spill a rude word, or eat a tie, or give-up Ukraine to Russian Special Force of hooligans, through Russian proxies and insurgents do corrupt USA, Europe and the whole World -
to point of no return.
Lenin destroyed Ukrainian labor unions and invaded non-Russian countries with genocide and cleansing - in name of World Revolution - global "proletarians" still think Russia is their mother.
Since 1947-49, Russia reversed restoration of CIS, to influx such countries and repopulated them even more by Russia
- global "oppressed nations" still think Russia is their mother.
Ukrainians starved in 1932 - Russia breed in Ukrainian land - now they claim it is Russia!
Millions of Ukrainians in 1941 moved industries, best in USSR, East - they won WW2 -
Russia refused return them home, made them "serfs" and breed in Ukrainian land -
now they claim it is all Russia!
Who is next?
Eastern Europe and Asia?
Maybe USA?
Cuba is already repopulated in industrial centers, for stolen by Russians from CIS money, by Russians -
are Che-Gevara and Castro still believe in World Revolution?
Is it to repopulate the World by Ethnic Russian race war?
To breed Russians instead of all of us?
USA is controlled by lobbies and propaganda of Russia, Britain, Germany, Austria and by
many others.
Stalin managed help USA to see its future - to join in just war to save Humanity -
not for long - Russia turned it into "Cold War".
I managed help USA to see its Future - to join in just restoration of CIS nations -
not for long - Russia turning it into another "Cold War".
As for me, they killed my Mother 7/7/2012 - Russia and CIA - dancing with Putin and Obama, that issued the order to blackmail me to be plagiarized and avenge 2008
incomplete conquest of Georgia by Russia.
They say Saakashvili approved the blackmail...
Lubavich-Levites covering-up the murder and tried to desecrate my mother's grave...
They say Queen gave soon-after Lubavich-Levite a medal...
Where democrats and Obama government stand?
Waiting from Her Majesty a medal - replica of brilliants of "Ann of Austria"?
Waiting from Putin brilliant medal of "Mefodiy Pervozvannyiy"?

About #UkraineUnspun

The information war is in full swing in the tense standoff between Ukraine and Russia. In an attempt to present a clearer picture, #UkraineUnspun will unravel information coming from Russian and Ukrainian media, politicians and activists. Written by Glenn Kates and contributors from RFE/RL.

Follow the hashtag #UkraineUnspun on Twitter and let us know what we should be covering -- or to weigh in on any of our stories. Or write us at webteam@rferl.org

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