American mercenaries were helping to defend Ukraine against Russia’s unprovoked attack, a Russian newspaper reported.
The Daily News of Vladivostok said video showed “fully armed” Americans in the Kyiv region.
“In Ukraine, they no longer even try to hide the presence of American mercenaries, who, according to the assurances of the American authorities, will not participate in the conflict,” the newspaper reported.
The Daily News cited a video that allegedly was posted by American fighters and showed themselves on the Ukrainian front lines.
“Here we have burning buildings, weapons, missiles and many other fun stuff that will make this day wonderful,” the supposed mercenary says in the video, the Daily News reported.
Newsweek reported Wednesday that U.S. military members who travel to Ukraine to join the fight might face administrative or legal ramifications if and when they return home.
Ukrainian officials have said its volunteer militia includes tens of thousands of recruits from at least 52 countries, including the U.S.
More than 7,000 U.S. citizens had applied to go to Ukraine, according to a figure provided to Newsweek by the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
“Not all of them are approved, and not all of them are going to Ukraine,” an embassy official said.
No apparent legal barrier exists for U.S. civilians to sign up; however, active service members and reservists must notify their commanders of such travel and could face disciplinary action if they don’t.
Russian and Belarusian citizens who have helped to defend Ukraine for years also are among the pro-Ukraine fighters, Voice of America reported.
More than a month after Russia’s invasion, Ukrainian troops were recapturing towns east of the capital Kyiv and Putin’s forces were falling back on their overextended supply lines, Britain said on Friday.
Russian troops have failed to capture a major Ukrainian city since the start of their assault, which Western countries believed was aimed at swiftly toppling President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, was not relenting in the face of mounting international pressure, including sanctions that have battered his economy.
The Western world largely was aligned against Putin, but there have been no indications he was losing support from the majority of the Russian public that relies predominantly on state-controlled TV for information.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this story.
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