UK Mourns Losses In Ukraine

Russia attacked a foreign military training base in Ukraine with missiles last week. Over 130 people were confirmed wounded but there appears to be confusion over how many people were killed. There have been reports that three British ex-special forces were killed as part of the barrage.

Many foreign fighters have volunteered to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion. President Zelensky and Ukraine communications apparatus have been relentless in asking anyone and everyone to come to their aid.

Unsurprisingly, this has the potential to work out very badly for the volunteers.

What a lot of commentators are ignoring, or they just are not saying it, is that Ukraine may have an interest in having some of these volunteers get killed or captured (especially from Western countries).

Picture what would happen if a 25-year-old American former Special Forces soldier gets captured by Russia after volunteering. Russia would certainly use him for propaganda purposes.

Public sentiment is remarkably high in support of Ukraine, but would there be an outcry for direct intervention, such as a no-fly zone, if bodies of American volunteers start appearing on the nightly news? The American public has been desensitized to the death of its soldiers by the 20-year Afghanistan war and the endless tours of duty in Iraq. No one talks about the 13 soldiers killed in the botched Afghanistan withdrawal anymore. Would deaths in Ukraine cause meaningful outrage? It is hard to tell.

What is not hard to figure out is that any volunteer, even those with prior military experience, would be severely outgunned by the Russian military. Ukraine does not have air support to speak of and Russia is a top-tier power with regards to intelligence. Also, it can lob missiles anywhere it wants to in Ukraine from bases safely in Russia.

That is not to say that Russia does not view the foreign volunteers as a threat. That is why they risked a missile attack 12 miles from Poland, a NATO country. They wanted to send a message to discourage more people from coming. Unfortunately for some, it is already too late.