He wears a uniform, carries ammunition and a weapon, and patrols like everyone else. But there’s one thing the man who goes by “Franko” has that probably no one else in his Ukrainian military unit has: American citizenship.
Vice News’ Simon Ostrovsky, who has reported on the conflict happening in eastern Ukraine for quite a while with his dispatches called “Russian Roulette,” has an interesting interview with an American man who has been fighting for about two months with a unit of volunteers called the Donbas Battalion.
Because of his parents’ Ukrainian background, he told Ostrovsky, he is entitled to Ukrainian citizenship, which he took on before joining the unit.
“I’m in a six-man squad. I’m just a private. I insisted on being a private. I carry a weapon, I do my part. I go everywhere where the unit goes,” he says in the interview, later alluding to having U.S. military experience.
Donbas, along with regular Ukrainian army units, have been fighting pro-Russian separatists in the east since April. With regular Russian troops massing on Ukraine’s border, NATO seems to think Moscow may soon launch a ground invasion under the guise of a humanitarian mission, according to Reuters.
“Franko” says his unit moves in school buses, since no military transports are available. He also offers other insight into the fight, more on his unit, and what he thinks could happen next.
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