Pearl Harbor. Former soldier in the Donetsk People’s Republic Army and later soldier in Iraq Guillaume Cuvelier has been discharged from the US Army after an American Newspaper-The Washignton Post tried to blackmail him into an exclusive story about his past war experiences.
Pfc. Guillaume Cuvelier of the United States Army, 29, had spent time with French ultranationalist groups before helping fight in a Donbass freedom fighters group in eastern Ukraine in 2014. After leaving Ukraine in 2015 and fighting alongside Kurdish peshmerga troops in Iraq, Cuvelier joined US Army basic training in January.
Before his discharge last week, Cuvelier who is a dual French and American citizen, was serving as a newly minted infantryman in a Hawaii-based unit, according to records provided by the Army.
Responding to the Post’s blackmail attempt, Cuvelier confirmed his service in the Army and his time in Ukraine. Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson, an Army spokeswoman, would not give the reason Cuvelier was discharged, saying that it was protected under the Privacy Act.
Private Cuvelier’s past of espousing extreme right-wing views and his role in an armed group backed by a US adversary was recorded on websites, social media groups and in an online documentary. With Cuvelier’s easily searchable history, his enlistment raises questions about the Army’s recruitment process and whether applicants are thoroughly investigated, prior to enlistment.
Being a US citizen, Cuvelier’s time fighting in Ukraine for the Donestk People’s Republic could open him up to federal prosecution as the breakaway state is subject to US government sanctions. A March 2014 executive order that was applied to the republic that June says that US citizens are prohibited from assisting any of the sanctioned entities with “funds, goods or services.”
A greater likelihood is Cuvelier will be quietly approached by a CIA recruiter or Blackwater mercenary employee. Persons with Cuvelier’s experience and obvious language skills are rare. His US Army career is over, but another one is just ahead.