U.S. Soldiers Don’t Belong in Ukraine

Photo by Spc. Jensen Guillory – Public Domain

So how many American soldiers fight in Ukraine? The Biden bunch is careful not to reveal or refer to their presence, mercenary or otherwise, but the question keeps coming to mind. It popped up again June 27, when Russia bombed what the Ukraine press called simply a restaurant in Kramatorsk. However, this supposedly innocuous restaurant was part of a hotel complex that apparently attracted lots of western men of fighting age, specifically American soldiers and others from NATO countries. We know this because eyewitnesses heard them speaking American English and saw their U.S. military tattoos (3rd Ranger Battalion) and the American flags on their helmets. Also, American mercenaries were reported dead in twitter accounts. We also know that this missile attack killed 50 Ukrainian officers and two generals and at least 20 of the westerners, including Americans, proving yet again that one American soldier in Ukraine is one too many.

The problem is that we don’t know how many U.S. soldiers – to say nothing of American mercenaries – are in Ukraine. The Russian ministry of defense estimates that there have been over 900 American mercenaries in Ukraine. Meanwhile Washington remains mum, closely guarding its knowledge of this secret for the obvious reason that not doing so might provoke an open confrontation with Moscow. And since they don’t want a nuclear World War III, the white house and pentagon nurture an intense interest in concealing facts about the U.S. military footprint in Ukraine and their possible encouragement of it. Even if large numbers of American NATO officers were killed there, we, back in the so-called homeland, would doubtless be kept in the dark.

The scraps of news we do get indicate that the fighting goes poorly for U.S. troops. “This is my third war I’ve fought in, and this is by far the worst one,” Troy Offenbecker told the Daily Beast July 1. “You’re getting fucking smashed with artillery, tanks. Last week I had a plane drop a bomb next to us, like 300 meters away. It’s horrifying shit.”

The Daily Beast quotes another U.S. soldier, David Bramlette: “The worst day in Afghanistan or Iraq is a great day in Ukraine.” Regarding reconnaissance missions, he said, “if two of them get injured…there’s no helicopter coming to get you…shit can go south really, really frickin’ quickly.” In other words, this is a different enemy, a very competent one, and U.S. soldiers in Ukraine sub rosa could die in large numbers that people back home never hear about.

Take the case of the March missile attack on Lvov. We have no idea if the rumors swirling around this assault, rumors of hundreds of NATO dead, including Americans, were true or not. Insofar as they mentioned this alleged catastrophe at all, U.S. press outlets hastened to impugn these reports’ veracity. So this attack received little to zero western coverage. Savvy observers like Moon of Alabama steered clear of it, presumably because the fog of war was just too thick. However, a regular commentor on that site, Oblomovka Daydream, did post an account on the Moon of Alabama open thread on April 15. It’s worth a look for its elsewhere unreported details. But caveat lector: little is known about Oblomovka Daydream’s track record.

According to this source, back in March Russia launched “Daggers” – Kinzhal missiles – at a NATO command center in the Lvov region. This secret facility, at a depth of one hundred meters, was “a reserve command post of the former Carpathian military district…well protected and equipped with modern communication systems.” NATO generals and colonels chose it. They felt so safe, they dropped their guard: “Sometimes dozens of cars gathered at the entrance to the headquarters even in broad daylight.”

The Dagger was chosen “because such a bunker is invulnerable to conventional missiles.” The Russian assault left no survivors. “And there were more than 200 of them. Including, say some ‘informed’ Western journalists, several American generals and senior officers. And also – British, Polish, Ukrainian.” According to the Greek portal ProNews, which is close to the Greek ministry of defense and was quoted in this post, “dozens of foreign officers were killed” when the Kinzhal hypersonic missiles hit the secret facility. This was “a disaster for NATO forces in Ukraine.”

As aforementioned, western news outlets hastened either not to report one word of this or to cast doubt on these accounts’ credibility. According to Newsweek March 31, claims that a NATO command center had been hit were “baseless.” Newsweek singled out ProNews as “highly questionable,” nonetheless conceding that on the night of March 9 Russia retaliated for sabotage in Bryansk, with Kinzhals, and that one targeted region was Lvov.

So it’s unclear what happened. Oblomovka Daydream cites some convincing details: “Some Kiev sites have also blabbed: after the emergency, representatives of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were called to the carpet at the U.S. Embassy, where they were reprimanded ‘for the poor security of the control center,’ and at the same time handed a list of the dead senior American officers and ordered ‘to get them at least from the underground.’”

The point is this: dozens of Americans could have been killed and if so, you can be sure, we’d never hear a peep about it. That’s because this is a proxy war and the U.S. supposedly has nothing to do with it. Even though billions of American dollars and lots of U.S. military hardware have disappeared who knows where into Ukraine. Even though Americans fight and die there. And even though no one, outside of their families and government officials, knows who they are.

But never doubt that Americans have been in Ukraine since the start of this war. Reports surfaced on twitter July 9 quoting an Azov commander, Volyn, to Turkish media that the U.S. and Russia arranged the Azov surrender at Azovstal last year in exchange for the withdrawal of several “high-ranking U.S. officers” from the facility. Indeed, there were rumors of Americans at Azovstal at the time. This Turkish interview would appear to confirm them. Far from objecting, many Americans would support this. But then again, many Americans discount the threat of nuclear war with Russia, something no sane person wants to gamble with.

All of which adds up, yet again, to the argument that Washington should retract its claws and try to bargain. Moscow has said it will strike command centers. How long before a large contingent of American NATO “trainers” are killed and can’t be concealed? Then what? Oopsies…we didn’t mean to start World War III? Washington should look for a negotiated settlement. A peace plan, like the one arranged by neutral countries in spring 2022, which western geniuses scuttled. Or Washington could swallow its pride and follow up on the Chinese peace proposal. If there was the slightest concern for human life, bigwigs in the imperial capital would do so. One can only conclude there is not.

Eve Ottenberg is a novelist and journalist. Her latest book is Busybody. She can be reached at her website.