The US is trying to use foreign mercenaries to plug gaps in Ukraine – they are in for a rude awakening

Rachel Marsden, RT, July 11, 2023 —

The propaganda machine is inciting ordinary citizens to go to war in Ukraine – where they go through hell.

Western mercenaries from countries other than the US are dying for Washington’s interests while President Joe Biden warns Americans themselves to stay away.

Most of the foreign mercenaries in Ukraine at this point aren’t American, according to Russia’s Channel One news. It’s actually Poland and Canada that lead the charge, with the US coming in third. And now reports are starting to emerge of US intelligence attempting to fill the void with even more foreign recruits to fight for US interests against Russia in Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense estimates that about 2,000 of the approximately 7,000 ‘volunteers’ have been killed.

Recent reporting reveals a troubling trend among Western mercenary deaths: combatants whose military experience is virtually non-existent. Presumably it all looked like good Hollywood action hero fun from afar — until the bullets started whizzing by.

In a story published in May about two Canadian mercenaries who volunteered for Ukraine’s “International Legion” and were killed in the Artyomovsk (named Bakhmut by Ukraine) battle, the CBC revealed that one had previously served in the Canadian Forces as a medic and had been photographed working in search and rescue in Kharkov. Kyle Porter, a 27-year old from Calgary, had been in touch with Canada’s state broadcaster. “Let me figure out how I am going to survive the next few days,” he wrote. “It was a meat grinder the first time and I’m not expecting it any better this time around.” You’d think he’d have taken an offramp at that point. Nope, not Rambo here.

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The question that everyone should be asking is how on earth Canadians, whose combat experience amounts to administering band-aids and applying tourniquets, could subsequently end up serving on the front lines — all while the Canadian government seemingly just shrugs. We’re talking here about a government that legislated zero-risk against overwhelmingly survivable Covid, but now can’t even be bothered to save unprepared Canadians from a much more likely death in Ukraine.

Last May, the CBC reported on yet another Canadian veteran, identified only as “Shadow,” describing how he and his colleagues had repeatedly come under fire in the Donbas. While “Shadow” might seem like a code name for a main character in a Hollywood movie about a badass who goes around single-handedly meting out justice, in reality he’s a meteorological technician who “experienced combat for the first time as a volunteer in Ukraine,” according to the report. The weather guy probably shouldn’t be placed in a position to be “blown out of their sniper’s nest by a shell.” 

For all his weather expertise, Shadow doesn’t seem to be too well-versed in grand chess geopolitics either. “If NATO had stepped in, the war would have been done in like less than a week, but because everyone sat back and watched, well, we are seeing all those civilians dying,” he told the CBC. Actually, direct NATO military confrontation with Russia would have resulted in World War III, and probably a few more civilian deaths than Shadow imagines.

The other Canadian mercenary whom Shadow was “assisting,” and whose own superhero name is “Wali,” has been described by the Western press as a “sniper” who had been working as a …software engineer. He, at least, had the sense to bail shortly after arriving in Ukraine, citing shoddy organization. “You had to know someone who knew someone who told you that in some old barbershop they would give you an AK-47,” he said.

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It doesn’t look like much has changed since then. The International Legion mercenaries are still largely underqualified for combat, under supported, or both.

American Cooper “Harris” Andrews, died during battle in Artyomovsk in April, according to Fox News.

Described as a Marine with five years experience, he was discharged in January 2022 from Camp Lejeune — as a ground electronics transmission system maintainer. Shortly thereafter, he left for Ukraine where he was then close enough to the battlefront that he was killed by a mortar shell. What’s next — recruiting chefs from Western armies and sending them into the line of fire?

Two other American mercenaries caught recently near Kharkov reportedly complained of poor Ukrainian intelligence and lack of preparation for combat, according to Russia’s Channel One.

One pretty clear indication of that being the case is when the American “trainers” sent to Ukraine, legitimate special forces with combat and intelligence expertise, don’t end up faring much better than the amateurs. Former Green Beret Nicholas Maimer, was killed when his position came under artillery fire in Artyomovsk, Fox News reported in May.

There’s also the obvious question of how much mission creep exists for such “trainers.”  After all, once you’re in the Wild West of a combat zone, it can be a slippery slope from training to fighting. What sounds to the average person back home like a classroom role or a desk job could, in reality, end up being something else entirely.

The pool of foreign personnel in Ukraine is dwindling, either because they end up killed or they come to their senses beforehand. Now, unconfirmed reports have emerged from the Middle Eastern press that US intelligence is recruiting a new batch of mercenaries in Syria. One would think that Turkey’s efforts over the past few years to recruit CIA and Pentagon trained “Syrian rebels” to fight in the Western-sparked Libyan civil war would have drained that particular talent pool, but it’s not hard to imagine the desperate measures needed for now desperate times.

Washington is unwilling to send troops en masse to die fighting Russia in Ukraine, to the point where the deaths of American military “trainers” are still considered terrible aberrations. Why, then, should anyone else, from any other country, be goaded or guilted or seduced into fighting in yet another Washington-led NATO conflict?


Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist, and host of independently produced talk-shows in French and English.

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