WASHINGTON, D.C. Friday afternoon, the Russian media outlet “Pravda” falsely reported that three members of the Tennessee National Guard, which it labeled as “mercenaries” were killed while fighting in Ukraine.
The reporting by “Pravda” is patently false, the U.S. National Guard said in a statement.
“The three soldiers identified in the article are either current or former members of the Tennessee National Guard,” according to the Office of the Tennessee Adjutant General. “They are accounted for, safe and not, as the article headline erroneously states, US mercenaries killed in Donetsk People’s Republic.”
It is believed that the individuals were targeted by Russian media due to articles that appeared on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service related to a 2018 deployment as part of the Multinational Training Group-Ukraine which included members of the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
During the 2018 mission, more than 200 soldiers assisted the Ukrainian Armed Forces with the continued development of the Yavoriv Combat Training Center. This effort included the development of cadre, ranges and training areas; equipment and instrumentation requirements, and a realistic operational training environment.
All members of the Tennessee National Guard returned safely to their home state in 2019 after a successful mission.