Since the start of the special military operation, the Kiev nationalist regime has brought 6,824 foreign mercenaries from 63 countries to Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry stated on Sunday, April 17. Of these, 1,035 have been “destroyed,” while several thousand remain.
Within days of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine, the Kiev’s government promised visa-free entry for foreigners willing to take up arms against Moscow’s forces. Potential recruits visited Ukrainian embassies across the West and signed up to fight. However, recruitment was narrowed in March to those with military experience, and paused entirely at the beginning of April.
As specified, the most numerous group of foreign fighters (1,717) arrived from Poland, while around 1,500 came from the US, Canada, and Romania. Up to 300 people each came from the UK and Georgia, while 193 arrived from the Turkish-controlled areas of Syria.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, as a result of the hostilities, the number of mercenaries has steadily declined and currently stands at 4,877. Russian Armed Forces have eliminated 1,035 foreign mercenaries in combat operations, and another 912 mercenaries refused to take part in the hostilities and escaped from the country.
Roughly 400 of these foreign fighters remain embedded with Ukrainian nationalist battalions in the besieged port city of Mariupol. Konashenkov stated that Russian forces have intercepted radio communications from the “Azovstal” Mariupol plant in six foreign languages.
After the surrender of more than 1,000 members of Ukraine’s 36th Marines Brigade at the “Ilyich Steel and Iron Works” in Mariupol earlier this week, which Ukraine denies, the Russian military offered the fighters at “Azovstal” a final chance to lay down their arms and surrender, which would guarantee the preservation of their lives.
“In case of further resistance, all of them will be destroyed,” Konashenkov said.
He reminded that “foreign mercenaries do not have the status of ‘combatants’ under International Humanitarian Law,” as they came to Ukraine to “earn money by killing Slavs.” Therefore, the best that awaits them is “criminal liability and long terms of imprisonment.”