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International Legion volunteers in Ukraine were unprepared for war | news today

A Dutchman, a Frenchman, a German and an Australian from the International Legion war in the Ukraine have already died in combat.

Photo: AFP Agency

“They fought in Afghanistan or Iraq and claim they are not ready,” Polak says of his Western comrades, who fight alongside him in the foreign troops in Ukraine.

Interviewed by AFP in a supermarket cafeteria in Kramatorsk in the donbas (this), this very young man estimates at “perhaps a few hundred” the number of fighters who have come from various countries to fight for Ukraine since the Russian invasion. AFP decided not to reveal his nationality to preserve his anonymity.

“Honestly, we have a lot of cowards,” launches this volunteer, who is part of the International Legion for the Defense of Ukraine (LIDU) and provides a rare witness from within.

“Sometimes after the first combats they say ‘we are not prepared for this’ and return home,” explains the legionnaire, who says he changes missions regularly. “Before I had been appointed lifeguard. But in fact I am not a lifeguard, ”he laments.

According to this man, there is a bit of everything in the LIDU ranks, “Canadians, Georgians, Croats”, who were not trained for artillery warfare.

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The “worst” war

“Elon Musk, if you hear me, we need help!” a former member of the US armed forces in Kharkiv (south) launched on Friday, addressing the CEO of Tesla Motors during a press conference.

A Dutchman, a Frenchman, a German and an Australian have already died in combat, according to LIDU, which did not specify the date or the circumstances.

For its part, in early June, Russia claimed it had killed “hundreds” of foreign fighters in Ukraine since the start of its invasion on February 24, and had stemmed the flow of new arrivals.

LIDU spokesman, the French damien marou33, acknowledges that these fighters, often from NATO countries, are surprised by the harshness of the fighting.

“An American who was in six wars told me it was the worst he had ever seen,” he explains. “Missiles, bombings: the terrain is very different.”

As a result of this, between 10 and 30% of those recruited return to civilian life as soon as they land on the battlefield, according to Magrou, despite the fact that experience in handling weapons is required from the beginning.

“Almost all of them are ex-soldiers, a third of them come from an Anglo-Saxon country,” details the corporal. The language of communication is English.

Then there are the citizens of Central Europe Y Orientalfor whom the motivations are sometimes different.

“The Americans fight for freedom and Western values, while the Poles say that defending Ukraine is also defending their country,” he explains.

Although they all signed a contract with the Ukrainian army, they are free to leave whenever they want.

“I wanted to come here when I saw the images on television,” says Mika, a German interviewed by AFP in Kharkov.

“Since I was in the military, I thought I could help. If we don’t stop the aggressor in Ukraine, he is going to invade one country after another,” he adds.

Few female volunteers

Their legal status varies depending on their country of origin, and some “are at risk of criminal charges, for example in Italy either South KoreaMagrou warns.

His personal case is a bit different: an employee of a large law firm in Kyiv for two years, he was in “military availability” and the war came to him.

In LIDU’s ranks, women are underrepresented and on International Women’s Day legionnaires managed to find flowers and chocolate for a Norwegian female fighter on the front lines in Irpin.

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Source: Elespectador

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