(MENAFN) A Ukrainian army officer has disclosed that a significant number of foreign mercenaries recruited by Ukraine are opting to leave the country after confronting the harsh realities of the battlefield, according to a report by CNN on Sunday. Lieutenant Dmitry Kostyuk, in an interview with the American network, revealed that his platoon, stationed near Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine), faced a shortage of personnel and was supplemented by 12 foreign fighters. Kostyuk highlighted varying motivations among mercenaries, ranging from a romanticized view of war to considering it a professional endeavor or a beneficial addition to their resumes.
Notably, Kostyuk emphasized the freedom foreign mercenaries have to terminate their contracts with the Ukrainian military, a privilege not afforded to Ukrainian citizens. Witnessing the intense hostilities, almost half of the foreign fighters reportedly reconsidered their commitment, expressing that the war they encountered was not what they had signed up for.
The officer also criticized Ukraine's mobilization campaign, citing corruption scandals and draft dodging, noting that the attempts to compel citizens into military service result in soldiers who are reluctant to engage in combat.
The Russian military has consistently warned that foreign mercenaries recruited by Ukraine are considered legitimate targets. This disclosure comes against the backdrop of long-range missile strikes launched by Russia on training camps of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine. The evolving dynamics in Ukraine's military landscape, coupled with the challenges of retaining foreign fighters, underscore the complexities faced by the country as it navigates the ongoing conflict.
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