US Considering Sending Special Operations Forces to Guard Kyiv Embassy

US Marines typically protect diplomatic facilities, but currently only State Department security officials are guarding the Kyiv embassy

Citing unnamed US officials, CNN reported Monday that the Biden administration was in the early stages of considering sending US special operations forces into Ukraine to guard the recently reopened US embassy in Kyiv.

The US embassy in Kyiv was shuttered before Russia invaded Ukraine and was reopened last week. US Marines typically guard overseas diplomatic facilities, but the Kyiv embassy is currently being guarded by State Department security personnel.

The CNN report said that there was a consensus in the Biden administration that Marines might not be suited to protect the Kyiv embassy due to the uncertain security situation. The officials said that the US doesn’t think Russia will purposely target the embassy but is concerned that Russian air defenses or missiles could inadvertently hit the compound.

The potential special operations deployment was reported by several other media outlets. In comments to The Hill, the Pentagon said that “no decisions have been made — and no specific proposals have been debated — at senior levels of the department about the return of US military members to Ukraine for that or any other purpose.”

Sending special operators or any other types of troops into Ukraine would mark an escalation from the Biden administration whether or not they are there to guard the embassy as it creates a potential tripwire. While Russian troops have withdrawn from areas near Kyiv, the Russian military could still launch strikes on the city.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley was asked Monday if the US might send special operators into Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces. He said the US was only training Ukrainian troops in locations outside of the country. Addressing the media reports on sending special operators to guard the embassy, Milley said, “Those are planning efforts that are underway at a relatively low level.”

“At the end of the day, any reintroduction of US forces into Ukraine would require presidential decisions. So we’re a way’s away from anything like that, we’re still developing courses of action and none of that’s been presented yet to the secretary,” Milley added.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.