Pentagon Dismisses Moscow Claim of U.S. Troops in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that U.S. troops were training Ukrainian forces in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, but the Pentagon flatly denied it, accusing Moscow of a “ridiculous attempt” to obscure its own activity in the region.

Interfax quoted Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov as saying U.S. troops were training Ukrainian forces not only in western Ukraine “but directly in the combat zone in the area of Mariupol, Severodonetsk, Artyomovsk and Volnovakha.”

The Russian Defense Ministry affirmed the report, but the Pentagon rejected it.

“This is a ridiculous attempt to shift the focus away from what is actually happening in eastern Ukraine,” said Eileen Lainez, a Pentagon spokeswoman.