NATO chief Cloutier not captured in Ukraine

NATO chief Cloutier not captured in Ukraine

NATO chief Cloutier not captured in Ukraine

REUTERS - The chief of Allied Land Command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Lieutenant General Roger Cloutier, was not captured in Mariupol, Ukraine, despite claims made online. A spokesperson told Reuters there is no NATO Allied Land Command on the ground in Ukraine.

A tweet published on April 3 reads: “Unconfirmed sources from Russia Military: The Russian army captured the U.S Major General Roger L. Cloutier Jr. Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier, the U.S. Africa Command HQ Chief of Staff in the besieged Ukrainian Azov camp in Mariupol, The Pentagon wanted to contact Putin, (1/x)”

Copies of the tweet were then shared on Facebook and Instagram, with examples viewable.

Other examples of the claim made online can be seen.

The Lt. General was not captured in Ukraine, nor are there any NATO Allied Land Command personnel on the ground in Ukraine, a spokesperson told Reuters.

A public affairs officer for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) (the headquarters of NATO’s Allied Command Operations) told Reuters in a statement: “These claims are completely false. Lieutenant General Cloutier’s last visit to Ukraine was in July 2021 to conduct Land Staff Talks in Kyiv in order to strengthen NATO’s partnership with Ukraine’s brave and capable forces.”

The officer added: “NATO is a defensive Alliance and NATO stands ready to deter Russian aggression as well as assure its Allies that sovereign NATO territory will be protected. There is no NATO Allied Land Command presence in Ukraine.”

On April 5, following the rumors online, Cloutier posted images from an event in Turkey via his LinkedIn profile.

In response to a comment about the online rumors made under the LinkedIn post, Cloutier called the claims “completely false.”

The NATO Allied Land Command Twitter account also posted an image of Cloutier speaking at the same event in Izmir, Turkey on April 6, 2022.

Meanwhile, the social media posts wrongly described Cloutier’s job title as ‘U.S. Africa Command HQ Chief of Staff’ rather than the head of the Allied Land Command, which has been his title since August 2020.

Cloutier is also a Lt. General, not a Major General, as the posts claimed.

Prior to that, Cloutier served as commander of U.S. Army Africa/Southern European Task Force.