Russia reveals the number of foreign combatants fighting in Ukraine

More than 500 soldiers came to fight for from each of Poland, Canada, the United States and Romania, the Russian claims

Kiev’s claims that tens of thousands of foreign nationals have traveled to to join its fight against Moscow are exaggerated, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday.

It released what it claimed were accurate numbers “mercenaries” fighting on Kiev’s side, including those who have died on the battlefield.

According to statistics, a total of 6,956 foreign nationals from 64 nations arrived in Ukraine to become pro-Kyiv combatants between February 24 and June 17. About 1,956 of these have been killed, while 1,779 have left the country, the ministry said.

According to Russian figures, the largest number of warriors came from Poland, with 1,831 of its citizens joining the Ukrainian ranks. The Eastern European nation was followed by Canada, the United States, Romania and the United Kingdom in terms of the number of citizens traveling to Ukraine to fight. Between 422 and 601 people came from each of these four nations, the Russian military claimed.

More than 100 warriors joined Kiev’s forces from Georgia, Croatia, , Belarus, , Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Albania, Lithuania and , according to the report. Partially recognized was the source of 156 warriors. Nigeria was the largest African source of combatants, with 85 of them arriving from the country to take part in hostilities.

In general, soldiers from European countries had a higher retention rate than their counterparts from other parts of the world, data suggest. Almost 65% of Polish fighters remain in Ukraine, compared to 45% of Canadians and less than 17% of Americans. However, this is not true for all European countries. According to the figures, 30 of the 36 Swedish citizens who traveled to Ukraine have left and only one is still struggling. Of the 33 people from the , 14 have died and 15 remain in Ukraine.

The Russian ministry said its data proved that Ukrainian claims that a large number of foreigners joined the conflict were exaggerated. The actual number of foreigners in the country is declining rapidly, it claimed.

Despite its efforts to increase compensation, Kiev’s leadership cannot stop the process of the mercenaries leaving for the better world or for their homelands“, it said and commented on the data dump.

Kyiv denies hiring mercenaries, saying its foreign fighters are volunteers who want to defend Ukraine from Russian aggression. Ukrainian officials claimed to have received 20,000 applications to join “Alien Legion” during the first weeks of recruitment.

In an interview with the British press this week, the master of Ukraine “Georgian Legion” claimed that the same number of foreign combatants were still on the ground in the country, with as many as 3,000 Britons fighting for Kyiv alone.

The official status of foreign fighters in Ukraine becomes significant when they are captured by the opposite side. Two British citizens and one Moroccan citizen were sentenced last week to death by a court in the People’s Republic (DPR), which Moscow recognizes as a sovereign state. Both Moscow and Donetsk said they considered the defendants to be weapons for hire, which are therefore not protected as legitimate combatants under .


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