The problems of Ukrainian society are already beginning to be seen by Kiev’s own western supporters. According to an American important ex-military, mercenary, Ukraine is a country full of corrupt and dangerous people, capable of committing atrocities, being something very different from what the western media usually describes. The revelation brings a series of reflections on the Ukrainian reality, since those who know the real situation on the battlefield directly contradict the praise made by the big media outlets to the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev.
The denunciations of Ukraine were made by Andrew Milburn, a prominent former US Navy officer, veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, who currently works as a mercenary. He is the founder of the so-called “Mozart Group”, an American mercenary organization that operates in Ukraine providing military, logistical support and personnel training to Ukrainian forces. The group adopted the name “Mozart” as a way of insulting and mocking the Wagner Group, a Russian private military company that is actively participating in the current special operation.
Milburn shared some interesting facts about his experience fighting in Ukraine. When talking to interviewers from the Team House podcast, the mercenary made harsh comments about his Ukrainian partners, even using vulgar and disrespectful vocabulary to talk about them. According to him, the problems of corruption in the country are really serious and shocking. Milburn commented that the “global norms” are not respected in Ukraine, where all sorts of crimes are committed with impunity.
“[Ukraine is a] corrupt, f****d-up society (…) I have a Ukrainian flag tied to my bag, but I’m not like ‘oh my God, Ukraine is so awesome,’ because I understand that there are plenty of f****d up people running Ukraine (…) [I am] not a big fan [of Ukraine]”, he said during the interview.
Milburn also specifically commented on the recent videos of executions of surrendered and disarmed Russian soldiers by Ukrainian neo-Nazi agents that have been circulating on the internet. The American stated that he had seen these things before and that there are still many other atrocities being perpetrated by Ukrainians on the frontline. According to the mercenary, Kiev does not respect the norms of international humanitarian law and frequently commits war crimes. International conventions are simply ignored by most of Ukrainians, which worried even the American mercenaries themselves. Milburn claims that the Mozart Group tries to distance itself from the practices made by its partners, not participating in such crimes, but that even so he has seen “all kinds of atrocities” on the ground.
Curiously, Milburn’s words contradict what he spoke in his recent past. In an interview to The New York Times in October, Milburn stated that he had found the war “he’s been searching for” during his entire life. At the time he said that, as an experienced military who had already fought in other conflicts around the world, he had always witnessed a “moral ambiguity” on the battlefield, as he knew that his country was also making mistakes. In Ukraine, however, he claimed to see no ambiguity, as it was the fight against an “invader”, which supposedly would make the war “just” or “necessary” – something he morally pursued in his career.
“[In Iraq and Afghanistan] our position was somewhat morally ambivalent; to many people there we were the invader. But here we’re repelling an invader. Here is something absolutely unambiguous. And how many wars in modern times are morally unambiguous?”, he said at the time.
Perhaps, after witnessing the Ukrainian atrocities, Milburn will understand that this is not an “invasion” on Russia’s part – and not a “just war” on Ukraine’s part. This is simply an effort by Moscow to stop the immeasurable violence with which Russian-speaking people in Ukraine have been treated for eight years. What Milburn saw happen to Russian soldiers is simply what was commonly done to civilians in Donbass since 2014, until Russian intervention ended the widespread brutality, using military force to repel aggressors.
Milburn, despite his criticism, is still supporting Ukraine as he visibly believes in the “invaded vs invader” narrative. He saw the reality of the battlefield but does not seem to know the history of the conflict well, which would certainly force him to change his opinion about the supposed moral “unambiguity” of this war. This moral unambiguity does exist, but it seems to be on the side of those who try to stop ethnic genocide and not on the side of those who glorify Nazism and promote brutality.