Foreign fighters are joining the Ukrainian army in search of "adventures", the commander of the 36th Naval Infantry Brigade in kyiv told RT. He was captured by Russian forces during the fighting in Mariupol.
The officer claims to have been surprised by the reason his British troops gave for joining Kiev’s force
Colonel Vladimir Baranyuk said there were foreigners in the ranks of his unit, explaining that Ukrainian law allows citizens of other countries to join its armed forces. “They sign official contracts and serve,”
The commander may be referring to British nationals Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, who were captured in the city of Mariupol in April. Aslin and Pinner, who are believed to be mercenaries, are accused of crimes against civilians by the Donetsk People's Republic.
Captured Ukrainian officer says US javelins are 'useless'
In late April, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to "do what we can" to free the duo through a prisoner swap. However, the Prime Minister noted that it was up to Ukraine to make the final decision on the matter. Aslin and Pinner "were not hostages and should not be traded as terrorists, they are prisoners of war," he added.
Note:- Get More Information Foreign fighters seek ‘adventure’ in Ukraine – captured colonel about this website.
According to Baranyuk, foreigners began arriving in Ukraine with the aim of enlisting in its army before 2018.
“When I took command of the brigade, I tried to ask them [why]. They said they wanted to, well, serve, so to speak. To be honest, I was surprised by his reasoning," he recalls.
"I asked them 'Why? For what purpose? Can't they make money elsewhere?' They replied, "No, it is not. We are adventurers," revealed the commander.
There was nothing special about the foreign troops, since they all held "ordinary posts" in the unit, he insisted. “I cannot say that they have done anything extraordinary; who were different from, say, our Marines.
During his interview, Baranyuk also criticized Western weapons supplied to kyiv by the United States and its allies. He described the American Javelin anti-tank systems as "useful, especially in urban warfare" and revealed that its British NLAW counterpart's battery depleted too quickly in cold weather, rendering the weapon useless.
Canadian sniper 'disappointed' with reality in Ukraine
The Russian Defense Ministry said last month that some 6,824 foreign mercenaries from 63 countries had arrived in Ukraine, in response to a call from President Volodymyr Zelensky. Among them, 1,035 were "eliminated" while more than 900 fled the country, Russia said.
Earlier this week, a Canadian mercenary known as "Wali," hailed as "the world's best sniper" by Western media, gave an interview in which he described his experience in Ukraine as a "terrible disappointment." He said that he decided to return to Quebec due to inadequate weaponry, poor training and heavy casualties among kyiv's troops, as well as looting and desertion from his ranks.
Baranyuk and his marines had been tasked with securing the northern outskirts of Mariupol, a strategic port city in southeastern Ukraine, against advancing Russian forces, but they were unsuccessful.
The commander was captured during a failed attempt to flee the city, which he claims to have undertaken with several loyalists after realizing that kyiv's promises to send aid to the encircled troops were lies.