Severodonetsk, Ukrainians deploy foreign volunteers in the battle for Donbass

They are Georgians, Germans, French, British, Australians, Dutch, some Americans: they give their contribution, some have fallen in battle. The stories insist on the harshness of the clashes, betraying all the ferocity of the dispute

The pendulum swings over Severodonetsk. In the last few hours the Russians have returned to press and their opponents, after encouraging signs over the weekend, are talking about a difficult phase again. Not surprising developments related to ongoing operations and the dynamics of contrast. The ratings of local executives find Concerned findings in President Zelensky’s comments, fresh from a visit to the front: the invaders have a numerical advantage, he said, a possible breakthrough in the Donbass would put us in a complex position, but we have the opportunity to respond. Observations related to Severodonetsk, but also to possible developments in the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk regionboth designated as targets for the Kremlin invasion and dangerously exposed.

The photograph of the leader, however obvious, represents reality, at least based on what we know. Which is often not clear as the fog of war is very dense. Moscow probably threw everything into the fray: the Chechens, the militiamen, the private soldiers of the Wagner, the essential elements of the 76th airborne. In Severodonetsk they suffered losses, but then tried to secure control of neighborhoods. Defenders take advantage of larger and more massive buildings, in case they become holding points. Violent exchange of artillery shells, a sector where Putin’s troops are a step above and – according to habit – level. The Ukrainian guns exploit elevated positions, from the south they pull on those who advance.

In recent days, numerous reports have reported how in the Ukraine deploymentconsisting of some tank brigades, the fourth rapid reaction regiment and other units, are playing a role i foreign volunteers, some of whom fell in battle: Georgians, Germans, French, British, Australians, Dutch, some Americans give their contribution. The stories insist on the harshness of the clashes, on the voids caused by the bombs, on the need to rotate after periods of intense struggle under the incessant barrage of rockets or thermobaric devices. The testimonies betray all the ferocity of the dispute, at the same time they try to convey a sense of trust for the party they have chosen to help. AND, in addition to risking bullets, they have to think about not getting caught: today the first hearing of the court set up by the Donetsk separatists is scheduled to try some British mercenaries – Shaun Pinner and Andrew Hill and in addition to the Moroccan Saadun Brahim – liable to capital punishment.

In these months the Legion made up of several thousand elements arrived from abroad been at the center of analysis. A part certainly useful to the cause, because it knows how to move, has a military past, even if – it should be remembered – few have experienced this type of conflict. Traditional, devastating, wearing. Then there is the ranks of the adventurous / willing: several left, many were considered unsuitable, some did not even take them into consideration, they spent days waiting for a rifle and a helmet. Indeed the figure of 20 thousand individuals – used by Kiev also in a propaganda key – has been downsized. But even here, as for the balance of total deaths, the rule of prudence applies. Estimates or rumors do not always represent reality.

In between, the contractors appeared. Always foreigners, professionals, they support the resistant with training, perhaps they participate in special missions, they act as consultants near the fire line or in the barracks. The most obvious case is that of the Mozart company, led by a high profile figure, former Marine Colonel Andrew Milburn. They are small numbers compared to their Wagner enemies, however they represent an advantage: they offer high-level personnel, they circumvent the veto on the direct involvement of NATO military on the ground. A parallel function in an army that, after the defeats of the past, it has undergone a great transformationproving that it can stand up to the Tsar’s war machine.

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