Media reports that claimed that an "unnamed source" from the DoD confirmed that 50,000 Russian troops are on "American soil" as part of a training program for disaster management and "crowd functions" have been denied.
According to this version of the rumor:
Russia and the United States will "exchange experts during joint rescue operations and in major disasters" and "exchange experience in monitoring and forecasting emergency situations, training rescuers, developing mine-rescuing and providing security at mass events."
So according to this deal, Russian forces will be present at any event considered a "National Special Security Event," which, according to the United States Secret Service website, is a title designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Past events that have been considered "National Special Security Events" include Super Bowls, State of the Union Addresses, the Olympics, and the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
Reports by several news sources, including MSN News, Ria Novosti, and the Inquistr (which also earlier "confirmed" the rumor), say that a FEMA spokesman has denied the reports, claiming there has been no such exchange of military or security personnel between both countries.
According to RIA Novosti, the FEMA source said the recently renewed partnership between the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry does not include "exchange of security or military personnel."
The source said there aren't 50,000 Russian soldiers on US soil because the agreement only "continues information-sharing meetings and observation opportunities with first responders and emergency managers." The "urban legends" website, Snopes, also debunked the rumor pointing out that the agreement between FEMA and its Russian counterpart, signed in June, allows only for the countries to exchange expert first responders and not troops.
The rumor, which appears to have originated on Alex Jones' conspiracy theory website Infowars, claimed originally that the Kremlin's Emergencies Ministry confirmed that the US and Russia have agreed for 15,000 Russian troops to be sent to the US to train with US troops in disaster preparedness and "crowd functions" in FEMA Region III which, according to the Inquistr, covers Washington DC(!).
Rumors spread that Russian soldiers were spotted at US military bases and that the Russian Federation for Civil Defense confirmed the troops were being sent as part of an agreement between both countries. Although the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense release stated that FEMA and the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry will be conducting joint rescue operations for major disasters, the release did not say anything about exchanging troops.
The release spoke only about exchanging "experts during joint rescue operations in major disasters" as provided "by a protocol of the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission Working Group on Emergency Situations."
The number of Russian troops rumored to have landed on American soil originally stated as 15,000 was restated as 50,000 on the authority of an "unnamed source" in the Department of Defense (DoD) who "confirmed" that the 50,000 troops have indeed arrived on American soil.
According to the Inquistr, the same "source" confirmed that 100,000 foreign troops were already in the US in various training programs including FEMA emergency and disaster preparedness training program.
The website Before It's News also carried a report that the "[unnamed source] maintained that there are currently 100,000 foreign troops in the US."
According to the Inquistr, the US Department of Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano, sent a request to Minister Vladimir Puchkov asking for Russian troops to work "directly and jointly" with FEMA.
The rumors elaborated further on already familiar conspiracy theories that claim Obama is into sinister plans to use FEMA to suppress an anticipated civil insurrection (presumably because he would be unable to use patriotic US troops). Earlier rumors had claimed that Obama has set up FEMA prison camps and concluded plans to declare martial law as part of a big plan to rule as a third world-style dictator (being a Kenyan). Obama's plan to rule as a dictator is reportedly part of an even bigger grand conspiracy to impose an Illuminati New World Order regime on freedom loving Americans.
A Facebook post and emails that spread the rumor presented the situation as grave, saying: "Make sure you have plan to keep your family safe. This sounds like a bad movie. This should scare the crap out of you. Obama and the left are bringing America to it’s knees. According to the terms of a deal signed in Washington last week, Russian soldiers will soon be allowed to patrol American soil, 'to provide security at mass events.'"
MSN News, however, reports that the Department of Defense has confirmed that there are 20 Russians soldiers in the US. The 20 Russian airborne troops arrived in 2012 at Fort Carson, Colo., to participate in an anti-terrorism training course. According to Russia Today, the Russian troops are in the US as part of a formal, bi-lateral exchange program in which the US also sends soldiers to train in anti-terrorism in Russia: this being a very different scenario from the wildly envisaged one in which 15,000 or 50,000 Russian troops land on "American soil" to conduct disaster management drills among US civilian populace.
The Inquistr reports that the US Department Press Officer Wendy L. Snyder, also confirmed the presence of the 20 members of the Russian military, saying: "This is part of a formal bilateral exchange program between the US and Russia that seeks to develop transparency and promote defense reform."
Unfortunately, Snyder's statement was widely used to support the claim that there are 50,000 Russian troops on US soil. The Inquistr even described the presence of the 20 Russian troops as an "influx" of foreign troops and quoted a US Army Reserve Captain William Geddes who described the "influx" as a "clear violation of the intent of the Posse Comitatus Act" which "makes it illegal to employ any members of the United States Army for the purpose of executing laws, unless such a use of force was authorized expressly by either Congress or the Constitution."
MSN News comments on the farcical aspect of the rumor about 50,000 Russian troops landing on American soil to openly conduct disaster management drills: "This is, in a word, crazy. You don't miss 50,000 people. That's the size of a small city, and if 50,000 Russian troops just showed up one day you'd better believe we'd [all] know about it."
According to MSN News, its reporter called the Department of Defense to confirm that 50,000 Russian troops were on US soil, and warns readers not to be surprised "if the only response is laughter."