U.S. Army National Guard exposes false report by Russian news outlet
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Tennessee Army National Guard put out a statement on Thursday in response to a Russian news report claiming that three U.S. national guardsmen labeled “mercenaries” were killed while fighting in Ukraine.
The Russian news outlet, Pravda, reported the men were killed during a battle for the liberation of Mar’inka, a settlement run by the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), which is a Russian-backed regime in Ukraine.
The militia reported finding items after the battle, which made it possible to identify Captain Michael Hawker, Lieutenant Logan Shrum and Lieutenant Cruz Toblin.
The National Guard swiftly responded to this report, calling it “patently false,” and said the three men mentioned are alive and accounted for.
The men served in the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment during their time with Tennessee National Guard. The Tennessee National Guard also discounted Pravda’s article in a statement on Facebook.
The DPR, along with the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) have been fighting for the liberation of Donetsk and Lugansk from the Ukrainian military for some time. Vladimir Putin has spoken publicly about his support for these regions.
Whether or not this region and its Russian ties have played a part in Putin’s decision to go to war with Ukraine is unclear, but Russian diplomats have appealed to UN’s Human Rights Council for support in their efforts to halt Ukraine’s efforts to develop nuclear capability. That appeal prompted a “walk-out” by over 100 diplomats in Geneva.
Pravda was started in January 1999, and lists its headquarters in Moscow, Russia.
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