Psaki Calls Allegations About US Private Army in Ukraine 'False'

US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki called allegations over US troops or mercenaries operating in Ukraine false.

Ukrainian servicemen prepare their ammunition at a position on the frontline near the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol on January 26, 2015. - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON, January 27 (Sputnik) — Allegations that US private army or mercenaries operate with the Kiev government are incorrect, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Monday during a press briefing.

“There have been rumors, which my understanding they are false,” Psaki told journalists when asked about US private army operating in Ukraine, referring to recent videos depicting English native speakers patrolling streets of Mariupol, a city in the southeast of Ukraine.

The first uniformed armed man speaking English was accidently recorded on the video by the Mariupol News Service. He refused to comment on the correspondent’s question and quickly went away with the words “Out of my face, out of my face, please.”

Ukrainian servicemen get inside armoured personnel carriers (APC) during a ceremony to hand over weapons, military equipment and aircraft to the army at a firing range outside Zhytomyr January 5, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The other video depicts a uniformed man scouting the area for unexploded ordnance, following Saturday’s heavy shelling attack, which claimed at least 30 lives. The videos raised questions about the alleged involvement of foreign military contractors in the Ukrainian conflict.

“There are no [US] troops operating [in Ukraine], there was also an accusation that there is a NATO legion in Ukraine…there have been a range of rumors out there which are inaccurate,” Psaki underscored.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday called Ukraine’s army “a NATO-controlled foreign legion, which is not serving to protect Ukraine’s national interests.”

Currently, the US officials are claiming that they are providing exclusively non-lethal support to Ukraine, as well as military advice. Last Tuesday the US Ambassador to Ukraine announced that the US Congress allocated $75 million to support Ukrainian defense sector in 2015, in addition to $119 million it had already provided in 2014.

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