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American Troops In Poland Moving Near Ukrainian Border To Help Refugees As Russian Invasion Begins

U.S. Army personnel are preparing to move near the border of Ukraine to assist refugees expected to flee the country, according to an Army spokesperson, which comes after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The refugee assistance expects to include many of the 5,500 troops who arrived in Poland earlier this month. Tens of thousands of refugees are expected, including some Americans, to seek escape from Ukraine.

“American officials have estimated that a nationwide attack on Ukraine could result in one million to five million refugees, with many of them going to Poland,” The New York Times reported.

American troops “have been working with Polish forces to set up three processing centers near the border to help deal with tens of thousands of people,” the report added.

The Biden administration has stated American forces will not enter Ukraine, but have offered assistance in Poland to help those in need.

“The soldiers are from Joint Task Force Dragon, composed of the 5,000 troops recently deployed to Europe and led by the XVIII Airborne Corps. Most of them belong to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, but others are from the 16th Military Police Brigade, the 525th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade, and the 101st Airborne Division,” according to Defense One.

“Our mission here in Europe is to assure our Allies of the American commitment to NATO. As the Secretary of Defense stated, the XVIII Airborne Corps is capable of a variety of mission sets, including assistance to American citizens in Poland if requested by the Department of State. We continue to prepare for that as well as training opportunities with our Polish Allies,” Col. Joe Buccino, a spokesman for the Corps, said in a statement, according to the report.

In addition to the more than 5,000 American troops recently deployed to Poland, more than 9,000 troops in total are now stationed within the nation.

Neighboring Romania has nearly 2,000 more, according to a Time Magazine report.

Last Friday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin noted that U.S. troops in Poland could be used to assist American citizens fleeing from Ukraine.

“I’d like to thank Poland for regularly hosting more than 4,000 enduring rotational U.S. military personnel. It’s the fourth-largest concentration of U.S. forces in Europe,” Austin said.

“And of course, in light of Russian force buildup near Ukraine, we appreciate Poland for hosting an additional 4,700 U.S. soldiers who are prepared to respond to a range of contingency, and they will work closely with our State Department and with Polish authorities, should there be any need to help American citizens leave Ukraine,” he added.

As of Tuesday, “more than 8,500 U.S. troops have been placed on heightened alert to deploy, the vast majority of which would help NATO if it activated its response force — a multinational coalition of troops that could deploy on short notice,” according to The Hill. An ongoing Russian invasion could lead to many more American troops in Europe as refugees flood the nations surrounding Ukraine.

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