The US Army is giving medical care to wounded American fighters who volunteered for Ukraine's foreign legion and other militias at a hospital in Germany.
This is happening with increasing frequency at the US Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, a New York Times investigation found, which marks "a notable new step in the United States’ deepening involvement in the conflict," as the report underscored.
Landstuhl is the Pentagon's flagship medical center in Germany, and it for many years was the central treatment center in Europe for wounded American troops evacuated from war theatres like Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Times observed that the hospital "has quietly started admitting Ukrainian Army soldiers who were wounded in combat, most of them American volunteers." This is unusual given the hospital would typically only treat active duty personnel.
The report described:
"A group of Ukrainian Army soldiers pierced by Russian grenades and mortar shells arrived at a hospital recently in need of surgery. It would have been a familiar scene from the bloody war grinding on in Ukraine, except for two crucial differences: Most of the wounded soldiers were American..."
"Though the number so far is small — currently 14 — it marks a notable new step in the United States’ deepening involvement in the conflict," NYT continued.
There are still believed to be hundreds of American volunteers fighting alongside Ukrainian forces. In the opening year of the war, there may have been multiple thousands. This after Zelensky in the initial weeks of the Russian invasion begged for foreign volunteers and mercenaries, and Western mainstream press and social media amplified these calls...
But unlike the early part of the conflict, when there was the constant media drumbeat of claims that Ukraine was "winning" - there has since been a dramatic narrative shift, centered on the failed counteroffensive. This dour turn is reflected in the NYT report in the following:
An unknown number of them have been shot, hit by artillery, blown up by mines or otherwise injured in combat. About 20 have been killed. Most of the wounded have had to rely on a patchwork of Ukrainian hospitals and Western charities for help. Now, though, the Pentagon has stepped in to offer some of them the same care it gives to American active-duty troops.
Some of these Americans are serving under contract directly with Ukraine's military, while others volunteered with local militias.
After some 19 months of war, there have been sporadic reports of Americans dying or being captured, but this is the first time a newspaper of the stature of the New York Times has listed twenty American deaths in Ukraine - a higher figure than what's previously been disclosed.