Mark Ayres has spent the last two months in Ukraine after joining the Azov Regiment. A veteran of the British army, he said he was initially skeptical of the soldiers in the regiment, which began as a far-right paramilitary unit – a fact speculated by Russia – but stressed that after meeting them , found that they are “neither monsters nor psychopaths”.
British Army veteran Mark Ayres, 47, told Sky News about his military experience in Ukraine.
He came to Ukraine in March and helped with the Azov regiment to defend the city of Bucha, where Russia is accused of war crimes, after its army soldiers tortured civilians, raped and killed them.
He is currently in Kyiv, where he is waiting to sign a contract with the Ukrainian army before taking part in further military activities, in the context in which several Britons were captured by the Russians.
Mark Ayres, who fought Islamic State terrorists in Syria, said he had “no problem” spending the next 18 months in Ukraine “until the fighting stops.”
“I hope to return home, but whole, not in a corpse bag,” he told Sky News.
“I have no problem staying for a year or a year and a half (in Ukraine – no.) If (Putin’s) operation had gone according to plan, Moldova would have been next and then he would have been watching other countries. who knows, “the war veteran added.
Mark Ayres said he had reservations about joining the Azov Regiment, which began as a far-right paramilitary unit and is now part of the Ukrainian National Guard.
The regiment’s background was used by the Kremlin to justify its claim that “denazification” was needed in Ukraine.
However, Ed Arnold, a European security researcher at the RUSI think tank, told Sky News that the Azov military group “has taken steps to move away from its far-right ties”. Also in March, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine to a commander of the Azov Battalion.
“I accidentally joined the Azov unit. This would have been my last choice for a unit to go to, but I’m pretty glad I did. They’re not monsters and psychopaths. Many of them are good guys.” said the British.
Editor : G.M.