The US newspaper The New York Times has published a detailed article about mercenaries in Ukraine – the Foreign Legion under the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU). The publication claims that some foreign servicemen joined the legion without military experience, while some just wanted “to profit from the war”.
The New York Times cites the stories of foreign soldiers who came to take part in combat operations on the Ukrainian side. To prepare the material, the newspaper analysed over 100 pages of documents of volunteer groups and interviewed more than 30 volunteers, fighters, fundraisers, donors, as well as US and Ukrainian officials.
According to the publication, one of the foreign legion troops, James Vasquez, lied about his military experience. He posted videos of battlefields on the net and indicated the exact location of his unit at least once.
The newspaper cited the story of Matthew Nance, who demanded the dismissal of two employees after accusing one of them of having links to Russia without evidence. The other military officer, according to the paper, wanted to smuggle fighters from Pakistan and Iran with forged passports to fight for Ukraine. Whether he succeeded in doing so was not reported.
Former Army Private First Class John McIntyre was expelled from the Foreign Legion for defecting to Russia and recently appeared on state-run Russian television. The report said he was representing Russia’s military intelligence service.
The NYT notes that there are foreign military personnel operating on the Ukrainian front who would not be allowed anywhere near the battlefield in a US-led war, given unrestricted access to weapons and military equipment. Additionally, according to the publication, the International Legion of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has around 1,500 members instead of the claimed 20,000.
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