The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Russia claims American Mercs are in the Ukraine

Not a good idea, if true:

“We are particularly concerned that the operation involves some 150 American mercenaries from a private company Greystone Ltd., dressed in the uniform of the [Ukrainian] special task police unit Sokol,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “Organizers and participants of such incitement are assuming a huge responsibility for threatening upon the rights, freedoms and lives of Ukrainian citizens as well as the stability of Ukraine.”

Remember when US mercs got strung up in Fallujah?  Using Americans, even “deniable” Americans, could blow up badly.


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  1. Celsius 233

    If that is a link, it doesn’t work.
    Where is this information coming from?

  2. American mercs are everywhere. They’re almost as ubiquitous as South African mercs and for much the same reason — because the society from which they come is violent and heavily militarized and full of violent young people who are eager to get paid rather than jailed for dealing out violence. Would I be surprised to find American mercs in Ukraine? Nope. Not at all. I’d be surprised if they *weren’t* there, to tell ya the truth.

  3. Ian Welsh

    Should work now.

  4. If Wikipedia is correct, Greystone Ltd. is part of Blackwater(aka Academi). Yes, the outfit Erik Prince used to be a part of. I guess someone else runs it now.

  5. russ

    FWIW I’ve seen some articles debunking the rumors of US mercenaries in Ukraine. E.g.

    Given that the west seems to be doing very little in terms of actually forceful reaction to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, only some random sanctions and formal protests, it seems more likely to me to be a bogus propaganda pretext for Russia to justify ramping up their military presence, but who knows. If the rumors are true, then we’ll probably find out soon…

  6. erichwwk

    Not seeing were that article “debunks” anything re who those unmarked soldiers are. It simply states “no one knows”, the only connection cited being that bystanders yelled “Blackwater”. A later update from that source refers to the Ukraine and Russian Defense ministry statements.

    That source is here:

    The Greystone, Ltd firm itself (separate from Academi/MeS since 2010) issued a denial, reported recently by the WSJ, but according to a commenter:

    “The denial by Greystone is a few weeks old but the Russian claim is that the mercenaries are recently arrived in Ukraine.”

    The two comments there pretty much state the confidence one can have of the current reporting.

  7. erichwwk

    The more troubling aspect of all this is that there *IS* ample evidence of our government issuing false statements intended to misinform its citizens what its policy of direct or support of military intervention in other governments is.We simply know only what is being reported by those willing to stand up to the heavy handed oppression of whistleblowers is, and what we have learned over the years is beyond reprehensible. It goes back to at least the the Spanish American War of 1898, when the term “yellow journalism” was coined, and has been in continuous high gear since the Dulles brothers combined with Edward Bernays to run covert interventions and bamboozle the American public.

    re Begays, etc the BBC ran an excellent 4 hour/part series on that about a decade ago. Part 1 is here:

  8. stirling

    the same people are in charge of Iraq, who says that idea?

  9. thisTime it's different

    This feels too eerie to me. The slow buildup of war drums through sanctions, accusations, testimonials before congress, fake elections, troop buildups and movements, and now paid mercenaries. Seems like something big is churning.

  10. russ

    ” it seems more likely to me to be a bogus propaganda pretext for Russia to justify ramping up their military presence”

    Then again if they are former Blackwater operatives then getting Russia to start a war could be part of the reason they exposed themselves as they did. The idea is to get a war started so the war profiteers can reap the profits.

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