Russia urges US to stop involvement of mercenaries in conflict in Ukraine
"We would like the US administration to take efficient measures to curb participation of mercenaries from abroad in Kiev's punitive operation against the protesters, against the people fighting for their rights in southeastern regions of Ukraine," Ryabkov said in an interview with Interfax.
"We cannot ignore continuing reports, including in Western media outlets, that groups of private companies specializing in providing security and military operations are acting in Ukraine," he said.
"The notorious Greystone (later known as Academi) is only the best known logo of such structures. Judging by information coming from various sources, we are dealing not only with this structure, which has stained itself by mercenary activities in numerous conflicts, but also some others, including from Eastern Europe, particularly from Poland," Ryabkov said.
The US structures acting in Ukraine are "in fact militarized groups composed of well-trained personnel with state-of-the-art equipment," Ryabkov said. "That is, these are combat forces that are taking part in special operations in the true sense of the word," he said.
"In addition to Academi/Greystone, there is also a structure called Cubic Applications International," he said.
"We are repeatedly saying this to our American counterparts. Unfortunately, we see responses to the effect that nothing of the sort is happening or can happen, that everything has been denied, and the matter isn't worth being revisited. But facts say the opposite. I am sure this issue will remain on the agenda of our dialogue with the US," Ryabkov said.
At least 650 servicemen were killed, wounded or taken prisoner in the past ten 10 days, he said. There are 70 foreigners among them and of those 13 agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and CIA were killed and 12 others were wounded, Ponomaryov told reporters.
A CIA official claimed on the US embassy in Berlin's official Twitter page of the that no such incidents had taken place and that allegations by pro-Russian activists did not correspond to reality.
According to reports from Donetsk, another group of US mercenaries has landed at the local airport, mercenaries that the 'Maidan'-approved government in Kiev is going to use for a mop-up operation in the region.
Deputy Chief of People's Self-Defence of Donbass, Sergei Tsyplakov, claims that 100 "soldiers of fortune" have arrived this time. Judging by US and UK press reports, the overall strength of the ground force that the Kiev-based government will send to the South-East of Ukraine makes up 1,800.
The US private military companies Blackwater and Greystoneare are mentioned increasingly often. Blackwateris actually doesn't exist. It has changed its name several times and is now called Academi. It's the biggest private army of the world. Blackwater is one of its subdivisions. 90 percent of orders for both companies come from the US Department of State, the Pentagon and even the White House. They can collect from 5,000 to 10,000 "soldiers of fortune" under their standards.
Tiffany Anderson of Greystonesaid on April 10th the organization has no soldiers deployed in the east or south of Ukraine. But this kind of denial is quite common for private armies, so hardly anyone will take it seriously.
The founder of Blackwater,Erik Prince has told ABC television that they normally remain in close contact with the State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon, so it's perfectly normal to remain super secretive.
Late last year, Prince published a book, Civilian Warriors. The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror. According to what he writes, US agencies always ask them to do some job in far-away countries. "Soldiers of fortune" do that job, without commenting on it ever after. "The job we do is very serious, so no one should better know about it," Erik Prince says.
Journalists asked him to explain his statement that President Obama is perfectly aware of what private armies in the US government's service do.
"You claim in your book that your ties with President Obama are stronger than he will ever agree to admit. Just what does that mean?" the journalists asked.
"This means we are involved in the effort to carry out some key programmes that he sees as ones of vital importance to the United States," he replied.
The Blackwaterand Greystone units for large-scale operations normally constitute up to 100 to 300 people. This means six hit squads have already been flown to Ukraine. The soldiers are paid 300 to 1,500 dollars per day. According to the British press, the US pays 8 million dollars a month to have its private armies deployed in Ukraine.
According to retired Lieutenant Colonel from the Russian security service, Andrei Popov, it is pretty difficult to identify Greystone or Blackwater mercenaries during an operation. They are normally made to look like local police or security service units.
"They are currently armed as the security service troops they are passing themselves off as. They carry Kalashnikov sub-machineguns and Makarov pistols, as well as our bulletproof vests. But they use closed communications channels, and that's how they can be recognized as mercenaries. They are trained just as any task force, but are absolutely unscrupulous. They have no idea of human feelings, that’s why they are used for bloody suppressions of local protests."
The US may also have recruited former task force soldiers, police officer or Marines of various nationalities for a specific operation, which looks like a private foreign legion.