Says Ukrainian Army Has Committed War Crimes and That “We’re the Bad Guys in Mariupol”
Aiden Aislin, a captured British mercenary currently being held in Russian captivity, is filled with regrets for his participation in a deadly war.
Aislin, a 28-year-old from Nottingham who first came to Ukraine in 2018 and fought as a mercenary with the Kurds in Syria, sat down for a long interview with Graham Phillips, a journalist also from Nottingham.
The interview is available here: https://www.bitchute.com/video/DgUgcTSnr8ZR/
In the interview, Aislin pleaded for others “not to take up arms with the Ukrainians,” because “you’ll be used, turned aside and forgotten about….if you go you’re an idiot like myself.”
Known as “Cossack Gundi,” Aislin prepared artillery for Ukrainian army forces outside Donetsk as part of the Ukrainian Marines and fought in Mariupol where he surrendered amidst the Russian takeover.
According to Aislin, Mariupol now resembles “Stalingrad during World War II; the city is in complete ruins, and it will be ten years before it even starts to resemble what it did before.”
Rather than blaming the Russians, Aislin believes that Ukrainian military commanders are responsible for the devastation because “they couldn’t accept reality that they would lose the battle and recklessly ordered their soldiers to fight to the last man when they should have left peacefully.”
According to Aislin, the Azov Battalion fighters—whom he described as “fanatics, criminals and Nazis”—were dominant in the city and used the cover of civilian-occupied buildings to fire from.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky could have prevented the war entirely by withdrawing from the Donbas and recognizing the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) but instead chose to fight.
Aislin said that he was misled by the British media which presented the Ukrainians as good guys, when they not only refused opportunities at diplomacy but also committed war crimes and slaughter and did not adhere to the Geneva Convention on prisoners.
The Russians by contrast, Aislin said, were abiding by the Geneva Convention, as he was being well treated in captivity—much better than he expected—even though as a mercenary he could have been subjected to the death penalty.
In hindsight, Aislin believes he “made a stupid choice to fight for Ukraine.” He only now looks forward to leaving Ukraine and starting a family with his wife in Great Britain after his hoped-for release in a prisoner exchange.
Mecca for Mercenaries
Ukraine has become a mecca for mercenaries like Aislin who have descended into the country en masse.
The Russian Defense Ministry has reported that an estimated 6,824 foreign mercenaries from 63 countries have come to Ukraine to fight for Volodymyr Zelensky’s government. Of that total, 1,035 have been killed.
The most numerous group of foreign fighters (1,717) arrived from Poland, while around 1,500 came from the U.S., Canada and Romania. Up to 300 people each came from the UK and Georgia, while 193 arrived from the Turkish-controlled areas of Syria.
Ukraine has also employed Chechen units, as has Russia, which further deployed an estimated thousand mercenaries from the Wagner Group which is run by a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to Robert Young Pelton, an expert on private military companies (PMCs), there is “a frenzy in the market” for private contractors in Ukraine today.” A House bill proposed by Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) would provide a 10-year exemption to current law that forbids U.S. citizens from fighting on behalf of another nation.
The Biden administration has allegedly launched a campaign to recruit private military outfits such as Academi, Cubic, and DynCorp. This is part of an effort to keep a “light American footprint” while trying to bog down the Russians in a quagmire.
Over the past eight years, many of the Americans who took up arms for Ukraine were white supremacists recruited by Ukraine’s neo-Nazi militias to fight Russia and advance white supremacist ideology, according to Newsweek.
Aislin’s story is significant because he is among the first mercenaries to renounce the war in Ukraine and assert that he was fighting on the wrong side.
While some might claim that he was coerced, Aislin made clear that he was the one to have initiated the interview with Philips. He said that he wanted to raise public awareness about what is really going on in the hopes of bringing an end to the war.
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About the Author
Jeremy Kuzmarov is Managing Editor of CovertAction Magazine.
He is the author of five books on U.S. foreign policy, including Obama’s Unending Wars (Clarity Press, 2019), The Russians Are Coming, Again, with John Marciano (Monthly Review Press, 2018), and Warmonger. How Clinton’s Malign Foreign Policy Launched the U.S. Trajectory From Bush II to Biden (Clarity Press, 2023).
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