WHO IS WHO: Volunteers and Mercenaries of the Ukrainian War

Kyiv - "Spektr.Press" presents a Project 'Private War', which is combined of a series of publications about foreigners who decided to participate in the military conflict in Ukraine.

This war is not only fought by national military forces of Russia and Ukraine, but dozens of thousands are fighting this war on their own call. Depending on their attitude , they can be perceived as "mercenaries" or "volunteers", and the difference between them is not always obvious. The Russian Ministry of Defense has even introduced an euphemism "assault squads" denoting pro-Russian Private military companies, which commonly hire their servicemen among sentenced criminals and send them to the front line. On the other hand, The Armed Forces of Ukraine include a so-called Foreign Legion with fighters from all over the world. They chose the war and the side, although they were not obliged to do so and do not always meet the expectations of their own governments in their home countries.

Whoever they are these people are going to bring their war experience and PTSD back home which might affect the life of their local communities dramatically.

With the support of the Journalismfund Europe, "Spektr.Press" explored this phenomenon and spoke with voluntary participants in this war who have fought on both sides. The project materials are presented in several formats: professional expertise, reportage and interviews in text and video. The materials are accompanied by exclusive photos and videos and are the production of a team of independent journalists and videographers who came together to implement it at the initiative of "Spektr.Press".


Since 1996 I started writing articles for the newspaper, while working at the hospital.

A news journalist and editor specializing in Russian domestic politics and international relations.

A media producer, author, Head of a Video Production team specializing in reportage and video analytics production.

Anton Lysenkov
  • Armed Conflict
  • Politics
€23.900 allocated on 28/10/2022
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