By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com
A Pentagon document that has appeared on the internet as part of a trove of leaks shows the number of NATO special operations forces that are inside Ukraine, according to The Guardian.
The Guardian report reads: “One slide suggested that a small contingent of less than a hundred special operations personnel from NATO members France, America, Britain, and Latvia were already active in Ukraine.”
According to a copy of the document circulating on Twitter, the authenticity of which has not been verified, there are 97 NATO special operations soldiers inside Ukraine, including 14 Americans.
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The French government denied on Saturday that its forces were inside Ukraine. “There are no French forces engaged in operation in Ukraine. The documents cited do not come from the French armies. We do not comment on documents whose source is uncertain,” a spokesman for the minister of France’s armed forces said.
The New York Times first reported on Thursday on the leaked documents that appeared online. The documents show US planning for a Ukrainian counteroffensive and appear to be authentic as the Biden administration is scrambling and the Justice Department launched an investigation into the leak.
A new batch of documents surfaced on Friday that extends beyond Ukraine and includes reports on China, North Korea, Iran, and other areas around the world. According to The Washington Post, the Pentagon restricted the flow of intelligence in response. A US official said the move “revealed a high level of panic among Pentagon leadership.”
The Post report said a slide that showed fewer Russian casualties than Ukrainian appeared to be altered. But there were no indications that other documents were altered, which would include the slide that showed the number of special operations forces in Ukraine.
Western media outlets have previously reported on the presence of NATO special operations forces in Ukraine. The Intercept reported in October 2022 that there were US special operations forces on the ground, and in June 2022, The New York Times reported there were a few dozen commandos from Britain, France, Canada, and Lithuania.
Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.