Foreign Fighters of Donbass
‘Shaun Pinner from London, England. I fought for Ukraine. We lost, I am ready to admit it,’ says a prisoner of war who fought for the Ukrainian army. Shaun arrived in Kiev in 2018. He joined the Ukrainian army’s first marine battalion as the senior shooter of the unit. In 2022, he was captured after his battalion was defeated. Now Shaun is facing a possible death sentence in the Donetsk People’s Republic. There is an investigation ongoing into his role in the shelling of civilians. Shaun has revised his views – he wants the conflict to end.
There are foreign military fighters on both sides of the conflict. Ukraine is using international mercenaries and NATO instructors, while the Donbass militia has enlisted foreign volunteers who arrived to fight neo-Nazism. Most of them joined the Donbass armed forces in 2014 and have stayed for years on the frontline. What are their stories?