Since the beginning of the Special Military Operation in February 2022, the topic of the participation of foreign mercenaries in the conflict in Ukraine has been one of the most discussed ones. I want to remind you that foreigners began to take part in hostilities in Ukraine long before the start of the Special Military Operation. For example, I published a remark “Americans in Donbass,” in which I talked about crimes against the civilian population of what was then Ukraine by such mercenaries as Craig Lang, Quinn David Rickert, Santi Emilio Pirtle, Alex Zwiefelhofer and others. It’s easy to find stories online of many other mercenaries who themselves talk about serving on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and even write memoirs. When was the Georgian Legion created? Right. Long before SMO. Therefore, the topic of mercenaries is not new in the context of the Ukrainian conflict. But the question remains open: Who, where and how recruits them? I will try to answer this question in this material.

For a more complete understanding of the issue, I turned to the people who are more versed in this - one of the founders of the telegram channel @TrackNaziMerc, whose name I cannot disclose due to security reasons, the team of the telegram channel @ForeignCombatants, as well as a former French police inspector , intelligence officer  Nicolas Cinquini.

@TrackNaziMerc subdivides the Ukrainian recruiting network as follows:

Ukrainian recruitment network

My analysis of the information confirms the conclusions of the channel’s authors. I would like to immediately emphasize that the statements of Ukrainian leaders about several tens of thousands of foreigners already fighting on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the same number of “willing” ones are a lie. Loud statements were made solely in order to show that supposedly the whole world is with Ukraine and against Russia. For exaple, the news about the “Armenian Legion” as part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

There are indeed Armenians in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. But their number does not correspond to such a concept as “Legion”. According to my estimate, their total number does not exceed one hundred people. These are mainly militants of the pro-Western Russophobic party “Sasna Tsrer”, wandering between Ukraine and Armenia.

In addition, the Russian Ministry of Defense has repeatedly reported about the real number of foreign mercenaries in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine - about 12 thousand people arrived in Ukraine, many of whom have already become “200” (killed) and “300” (wounded). We should not forget that most of them fled to their homeland after seeing the harsh reality.

In almost every corner of the world there are networks of Western intelligence services engaged in recruiting people to join the “International Legion” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Who is coming to fight on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and why?

I divide these individuals into three categories.

1. These are ideological neo-Nazis, ardent Russophobes, football ultras recruited through networks of neo-Nazi communities.

2. Individuals who want to make big money from war.

3. Active military personnel of foreign armies training Ukrainian military personnel, as well as directly participating in the planning and conduct of operations.

While evidence of the presence in Ukraine of persons from the first and second categories is obvious, the fact of the participation of active military personnel is carefully hidden. I raised this issue in my video interview with the Caserta family, in which we discussed the mysterious deaths of American military personnel. Let me remind you that Teri and Patrick Caserta are the initiators of the creation of the Brandon Act, according to which all US military personnel have the right to receive psychological help at any time. And this need is caused by regular cases of suicide, the details of which are carefully hidden from the relatives of military personnel.

Moreover, I also asked experts from the telegram channel @foreigncombatants about active military personnel of foreign armies:

“All employees of foreign law enforcement agencies who are sent to Ukraine are given a leave (usually three months), but there are not many of them. In general, we can say that the number of mercenaries who arrived through PMCs or former military personnel is currently in the West is considered sufficient and they do not see the need to send personnel employees. The already established scheme for creating NPOs has shown itself to be good for consulting and instructing officers.

In addition, do not underestimate the various so-called volunteer NPOs that provide supplies and material support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. A huge number of foreigners are involved in them. This allows to seriously unload the costs of waging war and transfer to them the functions of logistics, supply, supply of provisions, software, delivery of drones and equipment, using micromarketing tools. NATO countries managed to involve their citizens in financing this bloody machine with collections for “aid” to Ukraine through multiple NPOs, which make this machine work smoothly and take new lives. We know the officers of the Czech army who oversee the supply of equipment to Ukraine, and although de jure they do not participate in hostilities, in fact they are full-fledged participants in hostilities."

Nicolas Cinquini kindly answered my questions and also confirmed the fact of the participation of active military personnel in Ukraine:

“I have received confirmation from reliable sources that active French soldiers are being offered false resignations to participate in the Ukrainian war, with a guarantee of reinstatement at the end, and before that, a salary that is difficult to refuse.”

Representatives of the @TrackNaziMerc channel do not deny the presence of active military personnel of foreign armies in Ukraine. This is evidenced by the following facts:

- The team was able to identify several mine clearance dog handlers from the United States who are on official missions. We did not post their information on the channel because we do not consider them mercenaries, but humanitarian personnel.

- The list of people awarded Ukrainian medals includes representatives of official law enforcement agencies of the Baltic countries.

- From a Ukrainian source participating in the battles in the northern direction, we know about the presence of Polish career military personnel stationed in the Chernigov region. But these are combat control and logistics support units for Polish mechanized divisions.

- Some of the deaths of combatants have a strange backstory, the conclusions of which may lead one to believe that they were on active service.

- Daniel Swift, killed on January 15, 2023 in Bakhmut, was de facto on active military service, although he was listed as a deserter. As far as is known, the American side did not demand his extradition, although Swift fought in one of the elite units of the Legion, directly associated with the 73rd Naval Special Operations Center, whose military personnel undergo the strictest checks.

Sample contract of a foreign mercenary with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

The conclusions of the @foreigncombatants telegram channel team also completely coincide with the previously provided scheme:

Recruitment of mercenaries occurs through different channels depending on the countries. Professionals with combat experience in hot spots from the United States and Great Britain mainly end up in Ukraine through contacts with mercenaries who have connections with Western PMCs or who fought on the side of the Kurds (YPG) in Iraq and Syria. As a rule, they then form separate units in Ukraine and may have funding from “private sponsors”. There are recruiters in the French Foreign Legion and in the airborne regiment of engineers in Montauban. The French without combat experience come to Ukraine from right-wing radical movements that have connections with Azov or Right Sector. Latin Americans are recruited through the military attache of the Ukrainian Embassy. Mercenaries come from the police and security forces, leaving for high salaries by local standards. Poles and Scandinavians come to Ukraine through contacts in their armed forces, where they previously served.

In support of the above scheme of the Ukrainian recruitment network, I propose to study the known facts and ways of entry of foreign mercenaries into Ukrainian units. Looking ahead, I want to emphasize that the United States plays a huge role in recruiting mercenaries, pushing people to enter into an armed conflict against Russia, using both financial, ideological and violent methods of influence.


The death of American Marines in Ukraine has become an almost weekly event. Not surprising. One of the first advertisements for the recruitment of mercenaries was published on the American website Silent Professionals. The announcement has been active almost from the very beginning of the  Special Military Operation and it does not ambiguously indicate that people are being recruited to participate in hostilities in Ukraine.

In addition, the media and the Internet regularly reported news about the arrival in Ukraine of employees of a number of private military companies. For example:

Kellogg, Brown and Root

Amentum (earlier called DynCorp),

Blackwater (other names - Xe Services/ Academi/ Constellis)


Northbridge Services Group


All of these PMCs (with the exception of Mozart, which ceased to exist without being able to do anything to oppose the Wagner PMC) have close ties with the US government, consist of former military personnel and have enormous opportunities to recruit personnel not only in their own country, but also abroad. Many American mercenaries came to Ukraine precisely through the recruiters of these PMCs. It’s no secret to anyone that PMCs carry out US government tasks, are armed and financed by the government. These are convenient tools for waging war against Russia by supposedly non-state actors.


Nicolas Cinquini told me about French mercenaries in Ukraine in an exclusive interview. Nicolas is a former French official, police inspector since 1989, judicial police officer, then intelligence officer. He was fired in 2020 for publicly protesting on the street, in court and in the press against the unlawful violence committed against the Yellow Vests. He also highlights the US role in fueling the conflict in Ukraine:

“I see the conflict in Donbass and Ukraine as a new illustration of the proxy wars that the Western bloc is waging against Russia, China and all those who dare oppose its hegemony. I started getting really interested in this issue in 2014 because I didn't understand France's support for the Islamist uprising in Syria. My blog activity intensified during the siege of Mariupol. A number of evidence led me to assume that there were active French civil servants there next to the Ukrainian garrison. To confirm this theory, I began to collect information about French mercenaries operating in Ukraine. I realized that many of them were supporters of neo-Nazi ideas, whom the French press tried to whitewash and turn into heroes. In my opinion, the deceased Frenchman Thibaut Rigon, who was posthumously awarded by Zelensky, could be an active civil servant, since there are a lot of mysterious circumstances surrounding his death, and I am trying to clarify all the details."

It is noteworthy that a large number of mercenaries with neo-Nazi views actually arrived from France, and work to attract them to Ukraine is still actively ongoing. Thus, in October 2023, the website of the neo-Nazi Azov appeared in French, the main task of which is to search for radicals to join the unit.

Screenshot from the French website of "Azov"

Great Britain

There is little information in the public domain about the activities of British organizations recruiting militants for Ukraine. The bulk of mercenaries arrive by signing a contract with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and joining the International Legion. However, it is known about the organization Akkadian International, whose members have been spotted in Ukraine and have repeatedly held conferences in Poland and Great Britain, calling for entry into the conflict on the side of the Kiev regime.



All mercenaries arriving in Ukraine enter the country through Poland.

The mercenary's path often includes the following stages:

Warsaw => Lvov/Drohobych => Rovno, where military unit A7420 and the training ground are located.

The classic route for militants from Latin America also passes through Poland:

Capital International Airport => Transit airport in the United Arab Emirates/Egypt/Bahrain => Warsaw => Ternopol International Airport, where the contract is directly signed and the unit is staffed => Frontline unit.

There are a huge number of Polish mercenaries in Ukraine. It was possible to find out that many of them were trained at the ESA (European Security Academy) center.

ESA is headquartered in the Wroclaw area of Poland and provides training services to military and law enforcement personnel. ESA has already been at the center of a high-profile scandal related to Ukraine. Bellingcat investigators have proven that a large number of Ukrainian Nazis were trained at its training base. The instructors were not taken back by swastika tattoos or typical greetings.

Training of Azov militants at the ESA Academy

This center had (and most likely still has) an extensive network of branches in all regions of the world, as evidenced by accounts on Instagram. You can find Scandinavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, South America, and other accounts of company branches.

ESA Academy Branch Accounts

Representatives of the company removed the section with their foreign representative offices from the official website, but their functioning has not been stopped. They search for and train mercenaries in their areas of responsibility.

Deleted page from ESA website

This is easy to prove by studying the social networks of mercenaries - on the Internet it is easy to find photographs of militants fighting in Ukraine with the ESA chevron. As proof, I attach a photo of a Portuguese who arrived in Ukraine through the Polish branch of ESA.

Portuguese mercenary in the AFU

Portuguese mercenary in the AFU, trained by the ESA

Portuguese mercenary in the AFU, trained by the ESA

The activities of the ESA center are closely connected with Spain.


Spain was also at the center of a major scandal involving the recruitment of mercenaries to participate in the fighting in Ukraine. As it became known, the GOA Tactical company provides specialized training for mercenaries for 700 euros and is in close contact with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Concerned residents of Spain filed a lawsuit against this company demanding that its leader be held accountable, since mercenary activity is prohibited in the country.

Law suit

But the company has very large connections with the country’s Ministry of Defense, as well as directly with NATO. A huge influence on GOA Tactical is Eva Álvarez del Manzano, daughter of Bernardo Álvarez del Manzano, the late Army Lieutenant General and former Chief of Operations at the Spanish Defense Headquarters.

Bernardo Álvarez del Manzano

The direct leader of GOA Tactical is Francisco Galvan, call sign “Siscu”.

Francisco Galvan

As Galvan stated, Eva Manzano is the link between his company, the Spanish army and NATO. An interesting fact is that in various podcasts Manzano is mentioned as an expert in the field of intelligence, special operations, and espionage.

Returning to GOA Tactical: the company has branches in Israel, Peru and Poland. In Poland they work closely with the same ESA. It was possible to find out that other Spanish companies also work closely with ESA.

For example, the Spanish company Geitsinternational listed ESA as a partner on its poster, and the last few training courses took place in Poland.

This is not the only military and police training company that works closely with the Polish ESA. For example, Astespana, located in Madrid, also actively interacts with the Polish ESA and conducts combat training at its training base.


On the territory of Georgia, with the financial support of the US Embassy, measures are being taken to train and send mercenaries from both Georgian citizens and nationals of other states to the combat zone in Ukraine. For this purpose, a coordination headquarters has been organized in Georgia (Tbilisi), created on the basis of the non-governmental organization “Free Zone”. The organization includes representatives of the youth wing of the opposition political party “United National Movement”: Gagnidze Bondo, Gigauri Zurab, Keinashvili Demur, Kimadze David, Kumsishvili Guram, Kurkumuli Lola (female), Mamulashvili Vakhtang, Potskhverashvili Tatia (female), Rachveshvili Guram , Anna Siradze (female), Irakli Tkeshelashvili, Boris Khurtsilava, Chokheli Shmagi.

After combat coordination of the mercenaries, groups are formed for gradual dispatch to the territory of Poland. The transfer is carried out by charter flights, as well as by US military transport aircraft from Novoalekseevka International Airport (Tbilisi, Georgia) to the Chopin international airport (Warsaw, Poland). The arrivals are met and escorted to the Polish-Ukrainian border (Shegeni-Medika checkpoint) by Georgian citizen D. Kokoladze and Ukrainian citizen A. Yavansky.

Funding for the training and transportation of Georgian mercenaries through EU states to Ukraine is carried out with the direct participation of military advisers and employees of US diplomatic missions in Georgia and Poland. Influential representatives of the Georgian diaspora in Poland and the United States, including T. Alasania, a US citizen, born in 1950 in Georgia, who is actively assisting in carrying out these events. He is related to the ex-President of Georgia M. Saakashvili. In 1985, while working for the UN, he was suspected of arms trafficking. In 2004, he was prosecuted for extortion, however, at the direction of M. Saakashvili, the case was dropped. Among the relatives of T. Alasania there are the following government officials: Alasania Mamia - Deputy Chairman of the Ministry of State Security of Georgia (1991 - 1993); Alasania Irakli – Ambassador of Georgia to the UN (2006 – 2008), Minister of Defense of Georgia (2012 – 2014).


I also talked a lot about Belarusian mercenaries and published testimonies with two captured soldiers from the Kastus Kalinouski regiment.

As a rule, these are oppositionists who fled abroad. With the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, failed Belarusian radicals were forced to fight with weapons in their hands on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces under the threat of extradition to official Minsk.

The history of the recruitment and subsequent dispatch of almost all Belarusian mercenaries to the front occurs with the help of the pro-Western NGO “Belarusian House”.

Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other countries of the post-Soviet space

The network contains information only about isolated cases of mercenaries from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other former republics of the Soviet Union participating in hostilities on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. People from these countries most likely ended up in the ranks of the Ukrainian army against the backdrop of general mobilization due to the presence of Ukrainian citizenship. At the same time, there are also volunteers. The exact number of natives of Central Asian countries in the Armed Forces of Ukraine is unknown.

At the same time, the authorities of these countries are making attempts to limit the entry of their citizens into the combat zone. For example, in Tajikistan they began to compile lists of their citizens who became participants in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine. The state law enforcement agencies clarified that a criminal case will be opened against every Tajik who participated in hostilities in Ukraine. However, natives of Tajikistan who have Russian or Ukrainian citizenship will not be held criminally liable. In addition, the Uzbek Embassy in Moscow warned that the creation of a volunteer battalion or participation in hostilities on the territory of foreign countries is a crime from the point of view of the laws of the country. According to an article in the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan, mercenary activities are punishable by five to ten years in prison. On the territory of Kyrgyzstan, similar criminal penalties are applied for participation in hostilities in Ukraine.

Information was found online about individual citizens of the former USSR republics serving in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Thus, on various sites of pirated online cinemas, as an advertisement before viewing content by users from the territory of the Russian Federation, a video with the participation of an alleged citizen of Kyrgyzstan against the background of the emblem of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine is circulated, calling on his compatriots to surrender the positions of Russian troops, as well as the location of strategic objects of the Ministry of Defense RF authorities of Ukraine.

Middle East

The work of American specialists in recruiting radical Islamists, naturally, was also carried out in the Middle East, where Washington has many controlled gangs. It is known about the statement of the Shiite group Ashab Al-Kahf, which said that the forces of the international coalition led by the United States are recruiting young people to be sent to Ukraine. According to the militants’ statement, military instructors from Lithuania, Italy, Germany and Great Britain arrived on March 9, 2022 at the Ain Al-Assad military unit in Iraq and the location of the US Armed Forces At-Tanf in Syria. There, foreigners began recruiting militants to participate in hostilities on the side of the Ukrainian armed forces. The motive for participating in the conflict is said to be the revenge to Russia for supporting the government of Assad. Also, representatives of Western intelligence services held a number of meetings with the sheikhs of some clans from Syria and Iraq for a more loyal attitude towards such a “conscription campaign.”

Ashab Al-Kahf Statement

In addition, the American publication The People's Voice published documents about the request of the Ukrainian special services to Iraq with a request to extradite 2-3 thousand convicted terrorists to participate in hostilities in Ukraine. The letter directly states that the United States is aware and is ready to supervise the delivery of Islamic State fighters to Ukraine.

Request from Ukrainian special services

Behind the loud statements of the publication are real facts of participation of representatives of terrorist groups in Ukraine. A striking example is a soldier wearing an Islamic State insignia who was featured in the British press. It is possible that he is one of those militants convicted in Iraq who was sent to Ukraine.

American General McFarlane, who headed the Joint Task Force to Combat Terrorists in Syria, has been identified as a possible person responsible for recruiting terrorists in the Middle East.

General McFarlane

It is also known about the actions of the Turkish PMC SADAT in Ukraine. The company is controlled by the Turkish authorities and takes an active part in military operations in Syria and Libya. Created in 2012 by Erdogan’s longtime friend and adviser, Turkish General Adnan Tanrıverdi. Information about the arrival of about a hundred fighters of this unit on Ukrainian territory appeared in September 2022. Its militants were first involved in hostilities in the Kharkov region.


I talked about the participation of Afghan mercenaries in Ukraine in my replica “Afghan Legion” and showed a secret document from the SBU regarding the entry of Afghans into the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The special representative of the Russian President for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, also stated that the United States is sending Afghan troops to Ukraine. What is there to talk about, if even American diplomat Philip Cosnett declared the need to create an “Afghan Legion”. Refugees scattered around the world are still mostly in camps and have virtually no means of subsistence. Neither the United States, nor Europe, nor other countries of temporary residence are in a hurry to integrate them into their society. For refusing to travel to Ukraine, recruiters can be threatened with deportation to Afghanistan, where refugees will face inevitable death. Especially former military personnel.

The fact that an active campaign to recruit Afghans was indeed carried out is evidenced by the advertisement I attached below, in which a certain Fazal Elham calls on Afghans to go to Ukraine.

In addition, it is reliably known about the death of the Afghan mercenary Jalal Nuri in the Zaporozhye direction in June 2023.


Many of you may be wondering how the Iranians can fight on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces if Tehran is Moscow's closest ally. The fact is that on the territory of the Persian country there is a large network of opposition groups supported by the United States, Israel and other Western countries. Active recruitment is also taking place among them to be sent to Ukraine to confront the Russian army. A striking example was published by the Rybar telegram channel.

Latin America

There are quite a lot of mercenaries from Latin America on Ukrainian territory. Most often, Brazilians, Colombians and Mexicans appear, who may be associated with drug cartels.

In particular, the telegram channel “Rybar” published a letter from a resident of Mexico, which stated that the Ukrainian diplomatic mission is actively recruiting Latin Americans to join the ranks of the International Legion.

It is reliably known that weapons delivered to Ukraine have already repeatedly ended up in the hands of drug cartels, which confirms the possible connection of the Ukrainian Embassy in Mexico with drug cartels. The gathering place for Latin American mercenaries is the Alebriche restaurant in Poland (Krakow).


In Brazil, a branch of the Polish company ESA (European Security Academy) is actively recruiting for the Foreign Legion.

In Ukraine, the Brazilian mercenary Junior Almeida Carvalho with the call sign “Lumberjack” actively showed off the chevron of this company.

Junior Almeida Carvalho

Junior Almeida Carvalho

He tried to erase his “traces” by deleting the photo, but colleagues from @TrackNaziMerc managed to save it.

The Brazilian branch of the European Security Academy is one of the main suppliers of mercenaries from Latin America to Ukraine. This is evidenced by the Instagram account of another Brazilian mercenary, who indicated on his page that he is the representative of Ukraine in ESA Brazil.

It is not difficult to notice that there are centers for recruiting citizens to participate in hostilities in Ukraine in almost all corners of the world, and their activities involve high-ranking officials, active military personnel, as well as representatives of diplomatic missions. We must not forget that foreign mercenaries come to Ukraine on the advice of their “comrades” who have returned to their homeland on vacation or for treatment. Despite all efforts and attempts to lure people with high payments, Ukraine and Western countries were unable to recruit the necessary number of mercenaries to effectively counter the Russian army. This is clearly demonstrated by the results of the so-called Ukrainian counter-offensive, which fizzled out before it even began.

It is worth emphasizing that now the weekly number of obituaries about the death of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine is many times greater than the number of recruits. In light of the onset of winter, failures at the front, low morale among Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers, as well as reports of a possible offensive by Russian troops, Ukraine will have to rely solely on its own forces. It’s time to get ready for a new wave of videos of the work of Ukrainian military commissars packing up everyone on the streets of Ukrainian cities.

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