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Jeff Cercone
By Jeff Cercone February 6, 2023

NATO and U.S. troops and trainers have not died in Ukraine war

If Your Time is short

  • There are no NATO troops or trainers in Ukraine, and no NATO personnel have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, NATO said. 

  • The U.S. has sent troops to countries surrounding Ukraine that are NATO members, but the U.S. has not sent troops into Ukraine.

A tweet falsely claimed that more than 2,500 NATO troops and military trainers, including some from the United States, have died in Ukraine during the war.

But there are no NATO or U.S. troops in Ukraine, and military training of Ukrainian soldiers by U.S. troops is taking place outside of the country.

A Feb. 5 tweet included a screenshot of and a link to an article on a Turkish website called Hurseda Haber. The article claims the statistics came from Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency. We contacted Mossad for comment but didn’t immediately receive a reply.

The account that tweeted the article, called "Russian Market," identifies itself as a "citizen journalist." 

The screenshot and article show supposed statistics about the toll of the war, including that 2,458 NATO soldiers from Germany, Poland and Lithuania have died, and 234 NATO military trainers from the U.S. and the United Kingdom have died.

Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk replied to the tweet, calling it "a tragic loss of life." Later, after several users flagged the post as incorrect, Musk asked Community Notes users to correct the numbers.

NATO rebutted the claim in a statement to PolitiFact.

"There are no troops or trainers under NATO command in Ukraine, and no NATO personnel have been killed in the conflict," it said.

NATO and its allies are providing military equipment and financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, but are not sending troops or enforcing a no-fly zone to prevent the war from escalating outside Ukraine, according to a NATO website.

The U.S., meanwhile, has sent troops to countries surrounding Ukraine that are NATO members, including Poland and Romania. But it has not sent troops into Ukraine. A few Americans have died while fighting voluntarily in the conflict, but they were not in the country in an official capacity.

The U.S. Defense Department did not immediately return a request for comment. A department casualty status released Jan. 30 shows no U.S. deaths in Ukraine.

The Pentagon announced in December that Ukrainian troops would travel to a U.S. base in Grafenwöhr, Germany for military training from soldiers from the U.S. Army Europe and Africa Command's 7th Army Training Command.

It’s unclear how many Russian or Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or wounded so far.

U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in January that Russia alone has had more than 100,000 killed or wounded. 

We rate the claim that in Ukraine, 2,458 NATO soldiers and 234 NATO military trainers have died, some of whom are from the U.S., Pants on Fire! 

Our Sources

Tweet, Feb. 6, 2023

Hurseda Haber (Google translation), "Claim: Ukrainian and Russian casualties according to MOSSAD,"  Jan. 25, 2023

NATO, "NATO's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine," accessed Feb. 6, 2023

Emailed statement from NATO, Feb. 6, 2023

U.S. Department of Defense, "U.S. Plans Combined Arms Training for Ukrainian Soldiers," Dec. 15, 2022

U.S. Department of Defense, "Ukrainian Troops Headed to U.S. for Patriot Missile Training," Jan. 10, 2023

U.S. Department of Defense, "Casualty Status," Jan. 30, 2023

The New York Times, "U.S. Extends Troop Deployment in Romania, at Ukraine War’s Doorstep," Jan. 21, 2023

The Washington Post, "U.S. begins expanded training of Ukrainian forces for large-scale combat," Jan. 15, 2023

The Associated Press, "Top US general visits training site for Ukrainian soldiers," Jan. 16, 2023

The Associated Press, "Ex-SEAL dies in Ukraine; 6th known American killed in war," Jan. 20, 2023

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NATO and U.S. troops and trainers have not died in Ukraine war

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