United States SOF are Helping Ukraine Amid Threat of Russian Invasion

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Ukrainian SOF operators against the backdrop of American multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraf V-22 Osprey / Photo credit: Ukraine SOF
Ukrainian SOF operators against the backdrop of American multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraf V-22 Osprey / Photo credit: Ukraine SOF

​U.S. special operators are continuing with a mission to build up an elite fighting force in Ukraine, SOCEUR officials said, even as Russia threatens invasion with its thousands of troops, tanks and artillery massed along their borders

“The bottom line is that our training mission in Ukraine is ongoing,” Lt. Col. Juan Martinez, spokesman for U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, said Tuesday, as Stars&Stripes reporting.

Martinez said there are a “ton of outside factors at work,” but that the command hasn’t stepped back from Ukraine.

Read more: ​Facing Russia’s Threat: Canadian Special Forces Operators Deployed in Ukraine (video)
United States SOF are helping Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion, Defense Express
A U.S. Air Force special tactics operator assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing conducts casualty care training with Ukrainian air force members near Vinnytsia, Ukraine, Aug. 6, 2021. The U.S. airman's face was obscured by military officials for security reasons. (Izabella Workman/U.S. Air Force)

“We continue to view our mission in Ukraine as part of an ongoing effort in enhancing Special Operations Forces capabilities as a keystone for regional stability,” he said.

The Stuttgart-based SOCEUR has quietly operated out of a training center outside of Kyiv for the past several years. The mission’s focus is assisting Ukrainian forces to defend more effectively against Russian aggression.

United States SOF are helping Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion, Defense Express
U.S. Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR, pronounced “Sock-Yer”) is a subordinate unified command of United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM, pronounced So-Comm)

Martinez declined to say how many special operators are now in Ukraine, citing security concerns.

The presence of U.S. special operators is part of a small American military contingent that remains in Ukraine. There are also more than 100 Florida National Guard troops in Ukraine in an advisory role, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday. There are no changes planned to their operations in Ukraine "at this time," he said.

United States SOF are helping Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion, Defense Express
U.S. Navy SEALs operate as opposing forces during a joint raid exercise with Ukrainian special operations forces on Pervomays’kyy Island, Ukraine, July 2, 2021. U.S. special operators remain in Ukraine in an advisory training role, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe said Tuesday. (Patrik Orcutt/U.S. Army)

On Friday, January 14, The New York Times reported that the White House was considering a plan to fund, train and arm a resistance movement inside Ukraine in the event of an occupation. The plan could involve helping Ukrainian resistance fighters by providing training inside NATO countries such as Poland, Romania and Slovakia, the Times reported, citing administration officials.

United States SOF are helping Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion, Defense Express
Ukrainian troops took part in a military exercise near Kyiv in December. Russia has amassed about 100,000 troops at its borders with the country.Credit...Sergei Supinsky/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

According to a survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) on December 3-11, 2021, every third Ukrainian (33.3%) is ready to take up arms to defend the country from Russian invasion, while another 21.7% are ready to repel aggression by joining a civil resistance movement.

As reported, Ukrainian and US intelligence indicates Russia preparing operation to justify invasion of Ukraine. At the same time USA approves additional $200 mln in security aid to Ukraine and together with NATO alliance members working over supplying Stinger missiles to Ukraine in addition to the American military assistance that is already flowing to Kyiv.

Belarus said on Jan. 18, 2022, that Russian troops had begun arriving in the country for military drills announced against the backdrop of tensions between the West and Russia over neighbouring Ukraine. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /MINISTRY OF DEFENCE REPUBLIC OF

At the same time British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced that Great Britain had begun supplying Ukraine with new light anti-tank weapons in response to “the increasingly threatening behaviour from Russia” and Canada’s spec-ops unit have been deployed in Ukraine.

Read more: A New Russia-West Cold War Becomes Hot: Battle for Ukraine and for Common Sense
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