26 German right-wing extremists traveled to Ukraine – media
At least 26 known right-wing extremists from Germany have left for Ukraine since Russia launched its military offensive against the country in late February, media outlet RND has reported, citing government figures.
According to an article published on Saturday, the number was revealed by the country’s interior ministry at the request of the Left party faction in the German parliament. Journalists claim to have seen the officials’ reply.
German authorities have credible information that fewer than ten of those 26 individuals traveled to the Eastern European country to take part in combat, the outlet claimed.
“With roughly half of the known right-wing extremists, there are clues that they left with the intention to provide humanitarian aid,” the ministry said, as quoted by RND.
Several more of those German citizens are believed to have gone to Ukraine as journalists, the outlet added.
Commenting on the revelation, Martina Renner, a member of the Bundestag for the Left party, said the “real number” of German right-wing extremists in Ukraine is likely to be higher than the official figure.
Speaking to RND, the MP warned that “there is a danger to public security in Germany if the neo-Nazis with combat experience and possibly weapons and ammunition return from Ukraine.”
She also called on German authorities to pay particular attention to “right-wing extremists disguised as journalists,” as these could engage in disinformation campaigns.
Since late February when Russia launched its military offensive against its neighbor, thousands of volunteers from dozens of countries have joined the Ukrainian military.
Russia describes these individuals as mercenaries who, if captured, cannot expect the protection guaranteed to prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.
The country’s defense ministry also regularly reports killing foreign fighters in its strikes.
To date, though, the identities of only a handful of foreign fighters who have been killed in Ukraine are known, and include UK and US nationals.
Back in June, a court in the Donetsk People’s Republic sentenced to death two Britons and a Moroccan who had fought alongside Ukrainian troops.
Several more foreign fighters are awaiting trial in the Donbass republic.