Julia Shvytkina
24 August 2022 15: 00

Sent "for slaughter", steal and forced to loot: foreigners fighting in Ukraine accuse the command of abuse

According to an investigation by Ukrainian journalists, in one of the units of the "Foreign Legion" the military leadership creates complete chaos.

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Sent to slaughter, steal and forced to loot: foreigners fighting in Ukraine accuse the command of abuse

Reconnaissance Wing Leadership International Legion accused of multiple violations and abuses, including theft and the use of untrained soldiers as "cannon fodder". This is stated in the investigation of the journalists of the publication. The Kyiv Independent, which, according to the publication, was a reaction to the appeal of the military of one of the divisions of the legion.

"Members of the Legion unit say that they reported the illegal actions of their commanders to Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, parliament and the Office of President Volodymyr Zelensky, but did not see the proper reaction and therefore turned to journalists. Soldiers who pointed out problems in this Legion unit claim that they threatened", - the investigation says.

By the way, the commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the rights of soldiers Alena Verbitskaya confirmed that she had received complaints from legionnaires and noted that she had forwarded them to law enforcement agencies.

The International Legion consists of two wings. Ground forces of Ukraine supervise one. The second is coordinated by the Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, and it is this wing that this investigation concerns. According to sources in The Kyiv Independent, at its strongest, this unit has up to 500 men and makes up about one-third of the entire International Legion.

In particular, the Legion fighters accuse their immediate leadership of "theft of weapons and property", "orders under the threat of weapons to loot", "sending military personnel on reckless missions", as well as "sexual harassment".

The accusations in this story, according to the journalists of the publication, are based on interviews with legionnaires, affidavits of former and current members of the Legion, and a 78-page report they compiled about the problems in this particular division of the International Legion.

"In early May, a fighter from Brazil arrived in Ukraine to join the International Legion after President Volodymyr Zelensky's call for "citizens of the world" to come and help defend Ukraine. He thought his extensive experience in the Brazilian army had prepared him for almost any task. And yet he was not prepared to carry out suicide missions at the behest of his superiors, nor to endure orders to rob and steal. As a platoon leader of the International Legion, he was ordered to do just that.", writes The Kyiv Independent.

An American soldier told reporters about the situation near Nikolaev, as a result of which five soldiers were killed, and one soldier was captured and can now be executed in the "DPR".

"Russian troops discovered the position of our detachment and began to bombard it heavily. The rest of the troops retreated from secondary positions behind us, leaving the squad to hold the front line alone, without support. We literally remained, and they did not want to evacuate us. My fellow soldier Scott Sibley was killed. and three others were severely wounded during this mission. Shortly after the shelling, another group of the same unit was ordered to take the same position. We told the commander that these positions were discovered by the Russians ... If we return there, we will all die, but the senior will not listened and sent another group there. The story repeated itself, but this time with four killed, several wounded and one captured. Captured soldier Andrew Hill now faces a fake "trial" and possible execution in Russian-occupied Donetsk on charges of mercenarism, " - said the legionnaire.

Another of the three commanders, according to the soldiers, not only sent fighters to their deaths, but also forced them to help him rob stores. The militants told the Kyiv Independent that he also drinks heavily, insults his subordinates and harasses female doctors in their unit.

Foreign soldiers say they did not want to publicize the crisis in the International Legion and tried to resolve the issue behind the scenes.

"At first they complained to the commanders, then to the deputies and, finally, they reached the presidential administration. Since the Legion was created on Zelensky’s orders, foreign fighters counted on the support of his administration, but did not receive much help from there,” - the investigation says.

Moreover, according to the soldiers, after their complaints to the OP, the situation even worsened, as those who sounded the alarm began to be subjected to pressure and receive threats.

However, journalists note that the Office of the President did not respond to their comments before publication.

In the meantime, many military simply leave the Legion.

“There were some really good guys from the special forces. I mean, not from the regular army. A lot of the guys from the special forces literally just said: “No thanks. We can’t work like this anymore,” an American soldier told the Kyiv Independent.

National Security and Defense Council warns of manipulations

Center for Counteracting Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council on July 28 reportedthat "the enemy media is spreading a manipulative article about the International Legion." They emphasized that in order to write the article, the authors did not interview official representatives of the International Legion, but anonymous “volunteers” who spread fakes and misinformation. Also, the National Security and Defense Council urged to trust only trusted sources of information and do not trust insiders and anonymous informants.

What is this edition?

The Kyiv Independent is an English-language Ukrainian media outlet founded in November 2021 by former employees of the Kyiv Post and the consulting company Jnomics Media. It was founded thanks to an emergency grant from the European Endowment for Democracy. The resource also received assistance from the Government of Canada in the amount of 200 thousand Canadian dollars. The publication even quoted the President of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen.

Recall that the report published by the international organization Amnesty Internationalin which human rights activists stated the facts deployment of military bases by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in residential areas, including schools and hospitals, caused great resonance and criticism from Ukrainian and foreign politicians... On this occasion scandalous MP Bogdan Yaremenko even called for the dismantling of Amnesty International.

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