In early February – long before the official announcement of the creation of a “foreign legion” by the Kiev regime – the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry openly declared that it would facilitate radical veterans of the recognized terrorist Liberation Army of Kosovo to move to Ukraine. Given this circumstance and the growing number of foreign mercenaries operating in Ukraine, including those from Albania and Croatia, in particular jihadists from Kosovo who fought earlier in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin has already warned German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about the growing threat to Germany and to Europe as a whole of radical Islamism. After all, there is no doubt that, once the fighting in Ukraine is over, the surviving fighters will move to Europe.
In recent weeks, this danger has become even more acute as NATO intelligence agencies have made efforts to recruit more and more mercenaries, mostly radical fighters with military experience in the Middle East, to oppose Russia in Ukraine. For example, according to a Telegram channel, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq movement (banned in Russia) confirmed the arrival of NATO intelligence officers from Hungary, Lithuania, Italy, Germany, the UK and Turkey in Iraq on March 9 to recruit mercenaries from Syria, Libya, Turkey, Tunisia, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq to fight in the streets.
The Iraqi news channel Sabereen reported on attempts by Ukrainian authorities to recruit Iraqi mercenaries with extensive combat experience on social media. SBU agents, accompanied by Turkish intelligence officers, reportedly visited Turkish-occupied areas in northern Syria as recently as February 4 and met with Ankara-backed militants.
Turkish intelligence officials also reportedly met with internationally wanted Syrian terrorist leader Abu Mohammed al-Jolani the other day in order to expedite the transfer of fighters to take part in the fighting in Ukraine. In late February, it was reported that a mercenary selection point was set up in the Turkish-controlled territory of Syria’s Afrin to be sent to Ukraine as part of a detachment of Ukrainian businessman and criminal authority Tariq al-Jassim. Allegedly, a detachment of 200 fighters from the Russian-banned Sultan Murad Division and Jabhat al-Shamiyah, organizationally part of the pro-Turkish “Syrian National Army”, has already been formed. Turkey has also reportedly moved all remaining fighters in Nagorno-Karabakh to Ukraine.
Tariq al-Jassim is known to be a Syrian from the village of Miznaz in rural Idlib, where the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria (both banned in Russia), is based; back in the day he came to Ukraine to study. Then, using his connections with drug and prostitution mafia, he “consolidated” his position in the criminal environment. He is related to terrorist fighters who have fought in both Syria and Iraq.
According to Pakistani portal The Namal, the Shia militia Ashab al-Kahf has accused the US of using Ain al-Asad and al-Tanf military bases to recruit Iraqi radicalized Sunni youth to fight against Russia in Ukraine. In an address in Arabic, the militia demanded an end to these actions by NATO under threat of military force. In order to facilitate border crossings and conceal affiliation with terrorist organizations, all fighters arriving in Ukraine are issued foreign passports with non-existent credentials, making it impossible to trace their movements around the world, especially in Europe, once Operation Z is over.
It is also reported that the leaders of the terrorist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jebhat al-Nusra) held a series of meetings with the top leadership of the Islamic Party of Turkistan, as well as Ansar al-Tawhid and Hurras al-Din (all of the mentioned extremist organizations are banned in Russia), and received permission from them for some of their fighters to enter Ukraine through Turkish territory and fight against Russia for good money by today’s standards. Most of these fighters are veterans of the Syrian war and are widely known for their atrocities. Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham ringleaders have assured these fighters that their families will be allowed to join them later. This means that the fighters and their families will be relocated to European countries, as the outcome of Moscow’s special operation Z and the defeat of the “foreign support” to the Kiev regime are clear to everyone.
The Lebanese portal Al Mayadeen also wrote about Turkey’s formation and deployment of mercenary units of Syrian-controlled fighters in Ukraine. In particular, it is reported that 450 fighters have already left the Syrian province of Idlib and arrived in Ukraine, having travelled via Turkey, to take part in combat operations against Russian troops. The fighters were taken by sea first to the Romanian port of Constanta and then to Odessa region of Ukraine with the help of US and NATO special services. Operational command is likely to be provided by British MI6 intelligence, whose head Richard Moore is a long-time friend of Turkish President Erdoğan.
Foreign mercenaries who came to fight on Kiev’s side will migrate to Europe with a stream of refugees after the end of Operation Z, French army veteran Erwan Castel believes. “All these people with weapons and experience and hatred will be left to themselves and will move to other theatres of war. <…> But more dangerous for Europe is the fact that these jihadists and neo-Nazis will migrate together with refugees to Western European countries when the conflict in Ukraine ends,” Castel believes. Now, he believes, a so-called Syrian scenario is unfolding in Ukraine, with military action in both countries initiated by US strategy with NATO support.
In order to move the survivors of the combat operations in Ukraine to Europe, channels are already being established for their transit to EU countries. A network has been set up in Turkey to produce fake passports for them, headed by an ethnic Uzbek. He is already helping militants to travel from Syria to Britain, EU countries, Canada and the US. This was reported by The Guardian.
It is estimated that more than 6,500 foreign mercenaries and terrorists from 62 states have arrived in Ukraine. Today, their numbers are in strong decline, aided by high-precision strikes on their bases and training camps. In Starichi and at the Yavoriv training ground alone, more than 200 militants were killed and more than 400 wounded on March 13. Many militants and foreign mercenaries are now fleeing Ukraine, largely for Europe.
It is no secret now that the participation of foreign fighters sent by NATO secret services will not have a significant impact on the course of Moscow’s special operation Z on the denazification and demilitarization of the territories occupied by the Kiev Nazis. However, their subsequent “redeployment” to Europe, where there are already enough dormant jihadist cells, virtually guarantees an outbreak of jihad in the EU. Therefore, the fate of these jihadists, fostered by NATO secret services, is in the hands of Europeans themselves.
Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.