The officer claims to have been surprised by the reason his British troops gave for joining Kiev’s forces
Foreign fighters are joining the Ukrainian military in search of “adventure,” the commander of Kiev’s 36th Naval Infantry Brigade has told RT. During fighting in Mariupol, he was taken prisoner by Russian forces.
Vladimir Baranyuk, Colonel Vladimir Baranyuk stated that there were foreigners among the ranks of his unit. He explained that Ukrainian law allows citizens from other nations to join the armed forces. “They sign official contracts and serve,”He stated.
Baranyuk recalled at least two foreign troops – “both from Great Britain” – being under his command.
“One was called Aiden… I can’t remember the other one’s name… a really short last name,”He stated.
It is possible that the commander was referring to British nationals Aiden Aslin (British) and Shaun Pinner (British), who were both captured in Mariupol on April 1. Aslin and Pinner, who are believed to be mercenaries, are accused of crimes against civilians by the People’s Republic of Donetsk.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised in late April to “do what we can” to free the duo through a prisoner swap. But, the PM said that Ukraine would have to decide the fate of the matter. Aslin and Pinner “were not hostages and they are not to be swapped as though they are terrorists – they are prisoners of war,”He concluded.
Baranyuk says that before 2018, foreigners started arriving in Ukraine to join its military.
“When I assumed command of the brigade, I tried asking them [why]. They claimed they were there to serve. To be honest, I was surprised by their reasoning,”He remembered.
“I asked them ‘Why? What’s the point? Can’t you make money elsewhere?’ They said ‘No, it’s not like that. We’re adventure-seekers,’”The commander was revealed.
There was nothing special about the foreign troops, who all held “ordinary positions” in the unit, he insisted. “I can’t say they did anything extraordinary; that they were any different, say, from our marines.”
Baranyuk also attacked the Western weapons provided by the US to Kiev and its allies during his interview. The American Javelin antitank weapons systems were described by Baranyuk as “useful, especially in urban warfare,”It was revealed that the British battery NLAW had drained too fast in cold temperatures, rendering the weapon unusable.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said last month that an estimated 6,824 foreign mercenaries from 63 countries had come to Ukraine, responding to a call by President Volodymyr Zelensky. One hundred and thirty-five of these were reportedly killed. “eliminated,”Russia stated that more than 900 people have fled Russia.
Earlier this week, a Canadian mercenary known as ‘Wali’, who had been hailed as “the best sniper in the world”He gave an interview to the Western media in which he spoke about his Ukrainian experiences. “terrible disappointment.”He stated that he returned to Quebec to escape the lack of weaponry, bad training, heavy losses and inadequate weapons among Kiev troops as well as the looting, desertion and destruction in their ranks.
Baranyuk, along with his marines were given the responsibility of protecting the northern outskirts Mariupol from the approaching Russian forces. However, they did not fulfill this mission.
The commander was captured during a botched attempt to flee the city, which he claims he undertook together with several loyal men after realizing that Kiev’s promises to send help to his encircled troops were lies.
READ MORE Ukraine lied to its encircled troops – commander
Mariupol saw the worst fighting between Russia and Ukraine. The city suffered great destruction. The city is now almost entirely controlled by Russian forces, with the Azovstal steel plant – where Ukrainian servicemen and nationalist fighters of the notorious Azov Battalion are holed up – remaining the last pocket of resistance.
Russia attacked its neighboring state following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Minsk Protocol, which was French and German-brokered, was intended to grant the regions that were separated from the Ukrainian state a special status.
In recent weeks, the Kremlin demands that Ukraine declares itself as a neutral state and that it will not join NATO. Kiev claims that the Russian attack was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to take the republics with force.