An investigation by Channel 4 TV has revealed that British volunteers who fight have suffered a shambolic lack of organisation, training and equipment
Image: Channel 4)
More than 20 British volunteers have been killed in fighting across Ukraine, sources say.
British fighters claimed they were used as “cannon fodder” and described the war as “disorganized chaos”.
An investigation by Channel 4 TV has revealed that British volunteers who fight have suffered a shambolic lack of organisation, training and equipment.
Investigative Editor Cathy Newman spoke to Ben Atkin, 18, of Scotland, the youngest known Briton to have fought in Ukraine.
He revealed: “You can’t trust these people to look after you while you’re in this area. It’s a disorganized mess, you’re badly equipped, you go out, you’re very badly armed.
“As long as you understand the reality that you’re being used as cannon fodder, then if you’re comfortable with that and think you can help, I won’t stop anyone.
“I can say there are other ways out there to raise money, donate, join an NGO, do whatever you can, but just dying pointlessly, that’s not brave, it’s stupid.”
Ben volunteered in March with no combat experience and flew to Kraków, Poland before heading to the border to join the International Legion of foreign volunteers.
He was told that his three-month tenure would now be three years and that within 24 hours he would be transferred to Donetsk, the scene of the worst fighting.
Ben added: “We were given a presentation of the Legion and then we were shown the actual Legion. They contrast quite strongly with each other.”
Hours before being shipped to a military base in Yavoriv, just outside Lviv, Ben decided not to fight and went to work with an NGO that delivers food and supplies around the country.
“The next day, the base was hit by 30 Russian cruise missiles, killing dozens of foreign volunteers.”
Former Royal Navy engineer Curtis, from Cornwall, also joined other foreign fighters in telling Newman:
“There was no structure at all. Nothing at all.
“There was one Ukrainian officer who was in charge of the entire unit and essentially left himself to us for the first few days and it was chaos, absolute chaos,” he said.
“Most of the ex-servicemen, whether it’s Navy, Army, Marines, even the Air Force, some people were there – they were of a decent age, 30 and over, but there were a lot of young people who had never been with anyone who.” Serves in the military, had no military training at all, kind of a Call of Duty type.”
Curtis, 30, passed through the same military base in Yavoriv but exited just ten hours before the deadly missile attack.
He then fought at Irpin and recalls, “There were a lot of guys we were with without a helmet, without enough magazines to fight effectively at times.
“We basically used supermarket radios, which you can’t fight with at all. Russians can hear everything we say and it has been highlighted many times.”
When asked how many British fighters died, Curtis replied: “I think it’s probably many hundreds that were originally out there.
“A lot of guys left after Lemberg’s first attack and realized it wasn’t a game. I would say over 20 Brits have died.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/brit-fighters-being-used-cannon-27103976 British fighters 'cannon fodder' in Ukraine, more than 20 killed - World News