The National Guard on Thursday refuted claims it said had been made by Russian media that three Tennessee National Guard members were killed in Ukraine.
Pravda, a paper owned by the Russian Communist Party, reported earlier Thursday that three “mercenaries” from the Tennessee National Guard had been killed while fighting in the conflict, according to a press release from the National Guard.
“The three soldiers identified in the article are either current or former members of the Tennessee National Guard,” said the Office of the Tennessee Adjutant General in a statement. “They are accounted for, safe and not, as the article headline erroneously states, US mercenaries killed in Donetsk People’s Republic.”
The National Guard noted that members of the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment were deployed to Ukraine in 2018 and assisted Ukrainian forces with their establishment of a combat training center.
“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,” the National Guard said.
All the service members who were part of the 2018 deployment to Ukraine returned safely to Tennessee in 2019, according to the release.
The National Guard characterized the deployment as “a successful mission.”