The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported on Sunday 400 U.S. mercenaries are working with the junta government in Ukraine to suppress opposition to the coup in the eastern part of the country. The newspaper said the for-profit mercenaries are actively participating in the effort to eliminate anti-coup activists in Slavyansk and possibly other areas in the Donetsk region.
It is not known if Blackwater mercenaries were involved in gunning down voters in eastern Ukraine.
On Thursday we covered a report stating the CIA and the FBI are involved in the effort to quell resistance to the junta. The CIA has been involved with nationalist and fascist Ukrainian groups since the late 1940s.
In March, we reported on the presence of Greystone mercenaries in Donetsk. The mercenaries were “soldiers of fortune proficient in combat operations,” a diplomatic source told Interfax, according to the Daily Mail. “Most of them had operated under private contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan and other states. Most of them come from the United States.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the mercenaries were contracted “to suppress civil protests and dissatisfaction.”
“Among the candidates for the role of gendarme is the Barbados-registered company Greystone Limited, which is integrated with the Academi corporation,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “It is an analogue, and, probably and affiliated body of the Blackwater private army, whose employees have repeatedly been accused of committing grievous and systematic human rights abuses in different troubled regions.”
Academi was known as Blackwater and then Xe following its involvement in the murder of 17 Iraqis in Nisour Square, Baghdad, in 2007. Academi’s board of directors includes former Attorney General John Ashcroft, Bobby Ray Inman, the former director of the NSA, and the company’s CEO is a retired Brigadier General, Craig Nixon.