Pentagon Authorizes Hazard Pay for US Troops in Ukraine

According to the Discord leaks, there were 29 US military personnel in Ukraine as of March 2023

The Pentagon has authorized additional hazard pay for US troops in Ukraine, Military Times reported on Thursday.

The news highlights the small US military presence in Ukraine, although it’s unclear how many US troops are there. According to one of the Pentagon documents that was leaked on Discord, there was a total of 29 Department of Defense personnel inside Ukraine as of March 2023.

The number included 14 special operations soldiers. According to the document, there were 97 NATO special operations soldiers in Ukraine at the time. It’s unclear what the NATO special operations forces are doing on the ground.

Other US military personnel inside Ukraine include members of the Marine Security Guard Security Augmentation Unit (MSAU), who are typically deployed for embassy security. There are also officials with the defense attaché and members of the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC).

In October 2022, the Pentagon said that personnel under the defense attaché and ODC based at the US embassy in Kyiv started conducting “onsite” weapons inspections inside Ukraine.

The Military Times report said that US troops in Ukraine would now earn an extra $7.50 per day, capped at $225 per month, in addition to their base salary and other bonuses. A Pentagon official said US military personnel in Ukraine could get back pay going back to April 2022.

The State Department has also authorized hazard pay for its employees in Ukraine. According to the Discord document, 79 State Department personnel were in the country as of March 2023. The US briefly shuttered its embassy in Kyiv when Russia first invaded but reopened the facility in May 2022.

Besides the military and diplomatic presence in Ukraine, the CIA also has a presence on the ground, according to multiple media reports.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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