An Irish man spoke about his decision to join a foreign militia formed to fight the Russian armed forces in Ukraine.
hys Byrne (27) said he will begin his journey to Ukraine tomorrow and while his mother is “very distressed about it, she still supports my decision”.
Ideally, he said, the Ukrainian military is looking for experienced people, but anyone can apply through the Ukrainian embassy in Ireland.
My Byrne told RTÉ’s Liveline that the corps was formed on February 27, and he enlisted and was admitted that day.
“I am a former soldier, so I have to do my military service. I spent some time in the French Foreign Legion. I’ve been a close security guard since I was 18 and I’ve done a lot of high-end security detailing,” he said.
“I did counterterrorism training, weapons training in Lithuania with Lithuanian special forces. So I have an extensive knowledge base in these areas and experience as well. ”
Byrne said he had signed a 13-month contract to serve the Ukrainian army and it was unbreakable.
He did not know what rank he would receive upon arrival but he was assigned to the Light Infantry Militia.
Mr Byrne said “any life is not right”, but in this situation it was “necessary”.
“There are kids there who have spent 12 days since playing in the park with their friends, who now have to fight for their existence and I think it’s wrong that they are fight and bear that burden as children and maybe a life or lose their own.
“I am willing to sacrifice whatever years I may have left on this earth so that a child or a person continues to live a normal life.
“My point is I’d rather pull the trigger than a kid who doesn’t even know what he’s doing.”
Mr Byrne said he did not know anyone else involved and that he was practicing Ukrainian because he was concerned the language barrier could be an issue.
He said while “getting used to flying bullets,” he was concerned about Russia’s bombing capabilities and what would happen if he was captured by the Russian military.
“Putin said recently that he would not recognize any foreign fighters in Ukraine as a real military force. So God forbid, I’m captured by the Russians, I won’t be recognized as a military member, so I won’t be a prisoner of war.
“I will be charged with international war crimes against Russia and sent back to Russia and prosecuted for those crimes.”
Mr Byrne said he was “most likely” to be executed.
He added that one thing that is holding him back is his mother, but he cannot leave the conflict.
“It is also killing me. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to go just so I can ease my mother’s pain, but at the same time I will always live with the regret of not trying to do something.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/im-willing-to-sacrifice-whatever-years-i-have-left-for-one-child-ex-irish-soldier-heading-off-to-fight-for-ukraine-41424227.html ‘I’m ready to sacrifice any year I have left for a child’ – Irish ex-soldier leaves to fight for Ukraine