‘Allegations of for- profit “Blackwater” like mercenaries in Eastern Ukraine fly but how far off could those speculating be? We ask former CIA officer Jack Rice (15 May 2014)’.
McClatchy’s Matthew Schofield writes insightfully that “the notion that elite American fighters are prowling the backroads and slag heaps of [the Ukraine] is oft-repeated. After first surfacing in March , the rumors sounded like the sort of paranoid fantasies created in a war zone where anti-Americanism is rampant. But now the rumors are being repeated in Germany’s capital — and resonating. That alone may count as a victory for Russian propagandists, even if there are no American mercenaries. The White House says there are not. Bild am Sonntag, a tabloidlike newspaper that occasionally breaks major stories on the German government, is reporting that German intelligence has told Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office that it had unconfirmed reports that 400 Americans appear to be aiding the interim Ukrainian government in its fight against pro-Russian separatists. According to Bild, the German intelligence agency cited U.S. intelligence officials as its source. The report, which appeared Sunday [, 11 May], has since been repeated by many German news outlets. The allegation that the information was presented to the chancellor’s office in a weekly briefing in April lends it gravitas. That such reports in Bild on more than one occasion have proved true enhances its credibility. The chancellor’s office and the German intelligence service have declined to either confirm or deny, a development that leaves an atmosphere of doubt in a country where tensions are rife about just how angry Germany should be at Russia’s actions in Ukraine — fuelled in no small part by German reliance on Russian natural gas and oil and the extensive business ties between the two nations”.
The report in the weekend edition of Bild am Sonntag indicated that circa 400 members of the U.S. security firm Academi (the mercenary outfit previously known as Blackwater) were operating in support of the Ukrainian army. In addition, the paper informs its readers that apparently the German government had been informed of this by the U.S. secret service on 29 April 2014. Moreover the below clip was also provided as confirming this piece of news.
Academi’s Vice President Suzanne Kelly denied the report subsequently: “Academi is not taking part in any operations in Ukraine, and in the future this is not planned”.
 Matthew Schofield, “Rumors of American mercenaries in Ukraine spread to Germanya” McClatchy (15 May 2014). http://www.stripes.com/news/europe/rumors-of-american-mercenaries-in-ukraine-spread-to-germany-1.283154.
 “Kämpfen US-Söldner in der Ukraine?” Bild am Sonntag (09 May 2014). http://www.bild.de/politik/ausland/ukraine/us-soeldner-von-blackwater-im-einsatz-34992896.bild.html.
 “Academi bestreitet Einsatz in Ukraine” ?” Bild am Sonntag (12 May 2014). http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2014-05/ukraine-academi-soeldner-dementi; “Academi denies reports of American mercenaries in Ukraine’s east” Ukrinform (12 May 2014). http://www.ukrinform.ua/eng/news/academi_denies_reports_of_american_mercenaries_in_ukraines_east_321284.