Rumors have begun to circulate that mercenaries contracted by the U.S. firm Academi, formerly Blackwater, have been deployed to Kiev.
According to German news source Bild on Friday, and repeated by Der Spiegel, Ukrainian security forces are being supported by over 100 "elite soldiers" involved in a "punitive operation mounted by Ukraine’s new government." The information was leaked to the media by sources from German foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND).
Facts: Academi is a private security services provider founded in 1997 by Erik Prince. Formerly known as Blackwater, the company was renamed "Xe Services" in 2009, and "Academi" in 2011.