Amid the stress of war, there is a growing demand for private military contractors in Ukraine and other paid security workers. Recruitment platforms offer big money to mostly western volunteers joining the fight in Ukraine.
President Volodymyr Zelensky made the official call. He encouraged citizens of the world, ready and willing to help Ukraine, to come and fight. In a statement he made on Sunday, Zelensky praised his people’s courage to defend themselves, while at the same time realizing the full scale of the disaster and the help warranted.
However, at last Thursday’s daily briefing in Moscow, President Putin accused the West of their involvement in sending mercenaries to join Ukraine’s fight.
Zelensky, on the other hand, states that “this is not just Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This is the beginning of a war against Europe,” as reported by CNN.
Certain governments, including Latvia, Denmark, and the UK, are backing the appeal.
Joining the Foreign Legion
Through the International Legion of Territorial Defense (ILTG), anyone interested can contact the Defense Attache of the Ukrainian Embassy in their country and follow the steps to join. Former soldiers can also apply for job adverts at Silent Professionals and Blackwater through recruitment platforms.
According to media reports, contractors hired through private security firms are making between USD30,000 and six million in their efforts to move people from disaster zones. The higher end of the bracket directly coincides with the complexity of the evacuations and overall work involved.
Now, leaving aside the questions of legality and what consequences await foreign fighters in light of the International Humanitarian Law and POW classifications, let’s ask the obvious question of why people are joining the foreign legion, except for the monetary benefits.
In fact, what motivates or compels some EPAs – or former military personnel – to become part of Ukraine’s newly-established foreign legion?
The Veterans Heeding Ukraine’s Call
News sites report that hundreds of private contractors hail from America, Canada, France, Croatia, and Belarus. Most are former soldiers trained in special ops. However, plenty of medical first responders – doctors, paramedics, nurses, and others – are also crossing the Ukrainian border, ready to join the battle.
Still, the burden that comes with intervening in an armed conflict is both physical and psychological. During a war, there is plenty of room for mistakes to happen. Yet, former servicemen and women understand this as they carry the burdens of wars past.
Furthermore, private military contractors usually don’t engage in direct combat. In practice, though, the lines get blurry, especially when the danger level of rescue missions escalates.
And for a more complex answer, we need to look at the private military industry. Many in the sector know that it is awash with people misrepresenting their abilities and experience. So, how safe is it really for everyone on the ground?
The burning desire or personal interest people have to help a nation in need can be explained in logical terms. Still, the growing demand for private military contractors in Ukraine is a very complex issue that requires more discourse.
What do you think about private military contractors joining the ongoing war?