FACT CHECK: Did The Pentagon Confirm The U.S. Has Combat Troops In Ukraine?
A post shared on Facebook claims the Pentagon confirmed that President Joe Biden ordered combat troops to be deployed in Ukraine.
The Pentagon confirmed that U.S. troops returned to Ukraine as inspectors and embassy security. It did not confirm that President Joe Biden ordered US troops to fight in Ukraine.
Biden withdrew American troops from Ukraine in the week preceding the Russian invasion, according to CNBC. The U.S. also reduced staff at the embassy in Kyiv to minimal levels, the outlet reported.
The Facebook post claims the Pentagon “confirms Biden ordered US Combat Troops” to return to Ukraine. (RELATED: Russia Claims Not A ‘Single Piece Of Military Equipment’ Was Left Behind In Kherson Retreat)
This claim is incorrect. The U.S. sent inspectors to Ukraine to help keep track of weapon shipments sent to the country, according to NBC News. During a Nov. 1 press briefing, Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Pat Ryder said that “no U.S. forces” were “conducting combat operations in Ukraine.”
“So we’ve been very clear there are no combat forces in Ukraine, no U.S. forces conducting combat operations in Ukraine. These are personnel that are assigned to — to conduct security cooperation and assistance as part of the Defense Attaché Office,” Ryder said. He later explained that troops conducting inspections were “not going to be on the front lines.”
A Pentagon spokesperson told Check Your Fact that the United States does not have combat troops in Ukraine and pointed to a Nov. 16 press conference from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
The Intercept did report that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and U.S. special forces personnel were operating in the country under a “presidential covert action finding,” citing anonymous intelligence officials.