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JULY 2024

Foreign Mercenaries Defect In Ukraine

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Foreign Mercenaries Defect In Ukraine

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Written by Lucas Leiroz, journalist, researcher at the Center for Geostrategic Studies, geopolitical consultant

Apparently, foreign mercenaries are becoming discouraged in Ukraine. The hard circumstances on the battlefield, the lack of expectation of victory and the imminent political and military collapse of the regime are leading foreign soldiers to desertion, leaving their positions in the Ukrainian Foreign Legion. During a recent interview with a Western newspaper, a Ukrainian military officer revealed the complicated situation in his unit following the departure of several mercenaries.

Ukrainian lieutenant Dmitry Kostyuk told CNN that his squad had recently been supplied with some foreign troops after suffering losses during clashes in the Artyomovsk region. According to him, few of these soldiers actually know how to fight, with most of them being absolutely incapable of remaining in a conflict scenario for a long time. Kostyuk says that they arrive on the battlefield motivated by a kind of “romance of war”, not being professional soldiers. The result is that when they are faced with the reality of the war they fall into despair and often even choose desertion.

Kostyuk says these soldiers quickly lose motivation to fight. Unlike Ukrainians, who are forced by the state to stay at the front or are ideologically motivated by nationalism, foreigners are most of the time just looking for “adventures” and “experiences”. This is why, when they feel uncomfortable at the front, they simply give up and leave. In this sense, almost half of the foreigners in Kostyuk’s unit already left the position.

“My platoon was short of people, so we were replenished with foreign fighters, 12 in total. For some it was the romance of war, for others it was a professional activity. Many of such people are now coming to Ukraine because it is a good line in their resume. As a rule, they do not realize what they are getting into. Many people imagine our war as a gunfight with the enemy, but they don’t realize how much artillery there is, and that you sit under fire all day, every day, and may not see the enemy at all. Foreigners are a different story, because they can easily terminate a contract, unlike Ukrainians. It happened to me – almost half of the people saw everything and said, ‘No, no, this is too much. This is not the kind of war we signed up for.’,” the officer told CNN’s journalists.

The soldier also criticized the way the mobilization in the country is being conducted. As well known, several scandals involving corruption and illegal recruitment evasion have been revealed in recent months. This adds to a brutal reality of forced conscription, with people being kidnapped from the streets to serve on the front lines, in addition to women, teenagers and the elderly being mobilized. Kostyuk believes that people should have the right to refuse to fight and that the army is not strengthened by the existence of forced conscription.

“The way it (mobilization) is done now – when they try to force someone to join, the way they hand out draft notices is very bad. For example, I am a platoon commander, why do I need a person who does not want to join the army? I don’t think very highly of such people (draft evaders), but everyone has their own way. It’s hard to judge someone without knowing their situation. Not everyone can serve, someone has to hold the notorious ‘economic front.’ We are stuck in this war and we need to replace people”, he added.

The lieutenant’s words clearly show how the measures taken by the regime are unpopular and disapproved even among the Ukrainian military. There is no rational argument to justify what Kiev has been doing to its people, forcing ordinary citizens to participate in an unwinnable war just to serve Western interests.

Also, regarding foreign mercenaries, it is important to emphasize that there are different types of troops joining Ukraine. There are neo-Nazi and ultranationalist militants who voluntarily want to fight for Kiev, just as there are professional soldiers who go to the front lines paid by mercenary companies hired by NATO. However, the vast majority of the Foreign Legion’s members are not professional soldiers, but people who have been deceived by Western propaganda and motivated to go to war by thinking that this would be an easy task.

For a long time, Western media outlets insisted that Ukraine was “winning”, which led many people searching for “adventures” to feel confident about fighting for Kiev. However, the reality of the battlefield refuted this narrative. Upon arriving at the front lines, these foreigners saw, on the Ukrainian side, a weakened, collapsing army, while Russia, using only a small part of its military potential, continually wins battles and gains territories.

The result of this disappointment is simply desertion. Now, mercenaries are rushing to leave Ukraine to avoid having the same fate as the hundreds of thousands of soldiers already eliminated in Russian attacks.

You can follow Lucas on X (former Twitter) and Telegram.


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avem un batalion de politicieni si primari, senatori, deputati, prim ministri care se ofera sa mearga la claun sa lupte…


bine ar fi sa li se urce la cap si sa se duca !


ericunt is time for you to join the front and save the neo-nazi junta you love so much

Huckelberry finn

and take tom sawyer with you, let’s see if he still laughs at the russian army, once in the trenches 🤡

merc the jerk

i wonder where the russkies are putting all those surrendering ukies. must be up to 50,000 by now.

merc the jerk

the russkies are disappointed. they were hoping to use them for target practice and then bag a wall trophy or two.


well the rusa is not yousing only small portion of what its capable. its yousing all of it. if the generals woud do their “homework” and prepar for smo like they soud it woud be ower in max 6 months. they made bigest mistake posible, uderestimating the oponent.

Generalissimo Deluzhny

damn moskalis are inhuman, watching hero ukrainians suffer so much. they do it on purpose i’ll bet.

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