A veteran Ukrainian intelligence officer made an unusual statement recently, pledging Russian and and Ukrainian volunteers for fighting alongside the Syrian army.
In a mid-May video statement announcing the establishment of the volunteer corps, Commander Sergey Razumovsky addressed his appeal “all veterans of military service of the Soviet Union, all Russian and Ukrainian officers, residing in the Ukraine.”
Referring to poor living conditions of veterans in the country, namely “the lack of housing”, the former officer says that due to this situation, veterans can offer their skills to Syria in it’s efforts to restore constitutional order.
Recognising the fact that Syrian law does not allow foreigners to join the national armed forces, Razumovsky said Syria could give citizenship status to the volunteers, provide insurance to the volunteer’s families to help with the purchase of property after the war.
Razumovsky’s appeal was made to the Syrian government and the Russian Navy Black Sea Fleet, which he suggested could assist with the deployment of the volunteer corps.
The veracity of Razumovsky’s claim to represent veteran’s is unknown, but reports suggest he represents a group within 72,000 former combatants including Soviet-era veterans.
A story on the statement was published by the Ukrainian-language “Telegraphist”. The article has since been deleted but a cached version is available here.
The following video shows Razumovsky’s statement:
UPDATE: Thanks to Jonathan who commented below for providing us with an update. See this story from the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).