More than 100 Florida National Guard troops are currently deployed to Ukraine as U.S. intelligence officials continue to warn that Russia is poised to launch a crushing invasion of the country early next year.
While this small American force is based in western Ukraine – nearly 700 miles from the country’s eastern borders, where up to 175,000 Russian troops are reportedly massing – the presence of U.S. troops in Ukraine adds even more volatility to an already combustible situation.
In early November, about 165 soldiers of the Florida National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team prepared to leave for their deployment to Ukraine, Niko Clemmons of WFLA-TV in Tampa reported at the time.
These National Guard troops are not allowed to accompany Ukrainian forces into combat, said Marine Lt. Col. Anton T. Semelroth, a Pentagon spokesman.
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