Pentagon weighs US special forces at Kyiv embassy

Russia At War

(NewsNation) — The Pentagon confirmed Monday that there have been early discussions on sending special forces to Kyiv to help secure the newly reopened U.S. embassy but said it’s not necessarily imminent.

The Pentagon’s top officials confirmed the discussions after The Wall Street Journal first reported on the possible deployment.

“Some of the things that may have been out there in the media, those are planning efforts that are underway at a relatively low level,” said Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Sending special forces into Ukraine may test a balance between making sure U.S. officials are protected and appearing to escalate tensions with Russia.

“Any reintroduction of U.S. forces into Ukraine would require (a) presidential decision,” Milley said. “So, we’re a ways away from anything like that.”

According to the report, the Kyiv embassy’s security comes from the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service but special forces have been used before in limited roles.

Some forces helped guard diplomats when the embassy was closed and some staff returned to Kyiv for a ceremony to mark victory day this month in Kyiv.

The U.S. embassy in Ukraine’s capital reopened Wednesday after a three-month closure.

A small number of diplomatic staff watched as the U.S. flag was raised outside the diplomatic mission.

U.S. Marines guard American embassies across the globe but sending special forces to augment State Department security could be seen as at odds with repeated promises by President Joe Biden not to send U.S. military personnel into Ukraine amid Russia’s war.

“We are in close touch with our colleagues at the State Department about potential security requirements now that they have resumed operations at the embassy in Kiev,” the Pentagon said in a statement to The Hill on Sunday, “but no decisions have been made — and no specific proposals have been debated — at senior levels of the department about the return of U.S. military members to Ukraine for that or any other purpose.”

The Senate confirmed Bridget Brink as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine last week, filling the post as officials plan to return American diplomats to Kyiv.

Video shows Ukrainian troops appearing to help guard Canada’s embassy in Kyiv as other countries besides the U.S. have recently reopened embassies amid relative calm and safety in the capital.

Russia, meanwhile, focused its efforts on the embattled Donbas region in the country’s east.

The Hill contributed to this report.

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