Three current and former members of the Tennessee National Guard are safe and held accountable, despite a false Russian newspaper report on the men being killed fighting in Ukraine..
National Guard office spokesman Wayne Hall said in a phone interview that the three men named in a Russian news report, two of whom still serve in the Tennessee National Guard, are alive and well — and no US military personnel are currently on orders in Ukraine. Friday.
The false allegation began to spread on Thursday after Russia’s Pravda newspaper published a story and tweets claiming that the three Americans, whom it identified by name and as “mercenaries,” had been “eliminated”. Citing a pro-Russian militia in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, she said she identified the deceased using a Tennessee flag and other personal belongings left in a backpack near the remains.
In response to the false story, Tennessee National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Marilyn Mallon said Friday that the military has confirmed the individuals’ whereabouts and “are not in Ukraine.”
Malone said the Tennessee National Guard is “monitoring the situation and will assist members as needed.”
The National Guard Bureau said in a statment On Thursday, she said she believed Russian media targeted the individuals because they appeared in articles linked to the 2018 deployment in Ukraine, which included members of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the Tennessee National Guard.
That mission included developing trainers, shooting ranges, training areas, equipment and device requirements, and a realistic operational training environment, according to the statement.
“All Tennessee National Guard personnel safely returned to their home state in 2019 after a successful mission,” the statement said.
The false Pravda article, which is still on its website on Friday, is one of several distorted claims that have emerged from the Russian media in recent weeks as part of a disinformation campaign to bolster domestic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine..
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