World, Europe, Russia-Ukraine War

West sends mercenaries to fight for Ukraine: Russian Defense Ministry

Ministry says US intelligence recruiting more mercenaries for Ukraine

Elena Teslova  | 03.03.2022 - Update : 04.03.2022
West sends mercenaries to fight for Ukraine: Russian Defense Ministry file photo


The Russian Defense Ministry accused the West on Thursday of sending mercenaries to Ukraine to support the Ukrainian armed forces.

At a daily briefing in Moscow, ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the employees of private military companies raid Russia's military convoy, attack aviation, using US Javelin and UK NLOW anti-tank missiles and a man-portable air-defense system Stinger, and other weapons, supplied by the West.

Meanwhile, Konashenkov said the US intelligence launched a mass campaign to recruit more mercenaries.

Great Britain, Denmark, Latvia, Poland, and Croatia legally authorized their citizens to take part in the hostilities in Ukraine, while France plans to send ethnic Ukrainians serving in its foreign legion to Ukraine as well, he continued.

"According to Zelenskyy, about 16,000 foreign mercenaries are expected to arrive in Ukraine in addition to those already available to compensate for the crushing military failures of the Ukrainian security forces. A visa-free regime is officially introduced for them," he noted.

"Last week, about 200 troops arrived in Ukraine from Croatia, they joined one of the Nazi battalions," Konashenkov added.

"Today, the military attache at the Croatian Embassy in Moscow was summoned to the Russian Defense Ministry.

"The military attache was informed of the illegal activities of a Croatian citizen Denis Sheler, who participated in the fighting in the southeast of Ukraine in 2015, forming detachments of Croatian mercenaries to be sent to Ukraine. We informed him that we are aware of the arrival in Ukraine of about 200 Croatian mercenaries," he said.

Konashenkov warned that mercenaries cannot pretend for the status of prisoners of war, "the best thing that awaits foreign mercenaries when detained is criminal prosecution."

Since Feb. 24 -- days after Russian recognition of two separatist-held enclaves in eastern Ukraine -- Russia's war on Ukraine has been met by an outcry from the international community, with the EU, UK, and US implementing a range of economic sanctions against Russia.

Russia has been further isolated after its planes have been barred from flying in European and Canadian airspace, and a number of its banks have been kicked out of the SWIFT international banking system.

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