Hundreds of American troops are in Ukraine – Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has alleged that up to “hundreds” of American servicemen are deployed to Ukraine. Lavrov claimed that US soldiers, military advisers, and intelligence officers have long been direct participants in the conflict.
Sitting down with Russia’s Channel One for an interview on Wednesday, Lavrov spoke at length about Washington’s deep involvement in the hostilities in Ukraine, which has steadily grown despite repeated assurances from American leaders that US personnel would have no role in the fighting.
“Dozens, maybe even hundreds of American troops are in Ukraine, they were there even before the coup,” the FM said, referring to the 2014 ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich by nationalist groups and pro-Western activists. “CIA officers occupied at least one floor in the Security Service of Ukraine.”
Lavrov also claimed that the US military attaché based in Kiev has provided significant advice to the Ukrainian authorities, saying, “Military specialists are obviously engaged not only in making visits to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, but, of course, in one way or another they provide direct advisory, and maybe even more than advisory, services.”
He noted that a separate team of US specialists, created after American lawmakers demanded a more robust mechanism for tracking billions in lethal aid, has traveled to Ukraine to monitor the flow of Western arms to the country.
Given that “Ukraine is receiving more and more and better Western weapons,” the FM said Russian forces are now formulating plans to disrupt the arms shipments, adding that “Railway lines, bridges and tunnels” are being considered as targets to “make these deliveries more difficult or, ideally, stop them altogether.”
Lavrov went on to argue that Western states declared “war” on Russia nearly a decade ago, soon after the 2014 Euromaidan revolution, which was followed by US and NATO military support for the post-coup government.
“The collective West, which is headed by a nuclear power – the United States – is at war with us,” he said. “This war was declared on us quite a long time ago, after the coup d’état in Ukraine that was orchestrated by the United States and, in fact, backed by the European Union.”
So far this year, Washington has authorized more than $20 billion in direct military aid to Ukraine, not counting the separate ‘Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative’ and billions more in economic and humanitarian assistance. US officials have indicated that these policies will continue, pledging to supply Kiev with as much aid as is needed for “as long as it takes.”