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New Zealand

Former New Zealand soldiers fighting on the front lines in Ukraine

Isaac Davison

Inside an Australian Army vehicle during a mission rehearsal exercise for Task Group Taji 3 at RAAF Edinburgh with approximately 300 Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen preparing for deployment to Iraq at RAAF Edinburgh, Adelaide, South Australia. New Zealand Army Soldier.

In a photo released by a British newspaper, the man’s helmet shows the New Zealand flag, while his uniform bears the kiwi crest and the word “New Zealand”.
Photo: NZDF/Provided

New Zealand ex-soldiers are fighting on the front lines of Ukraine with a group of international volunteers.

The soldier has appeared in foreign news videos about the conflict and social media posts by foreign combatants.

The New Zealand Defense Force said the man was not in the country on an official capacity.

A spokeswoman said the person previously served in the New Zealand Army but was found to be believed to have left the military years ago.

“We have not officially confirmed these details yet, but we will continue to investigate,” they said.

He served in the army from 2011 to 2019, but had no combat roles, according to social media accounts bearing the man’s name.

After leaving the military, he held several jobs with a private security firm before taking on a role as a “military instructor” in Ukraine in April 2022, according to the account.

He said he now works for an organization called Ukrainian Dark Angels, a British-founded group of foreign fighters operating in Ukraine.

In footage released by the British newspaper, men can be seen entering an abandoned Russian position along with other foreign fighters. in Kherson, A provincial capital in southern Ukraine recaptured by the country’s armed forces.

They were shown being showered with flowers by local residents who welcomed their efforts. The men’s helmets feature the New Zealand flag, while uniforms feature the Kiwi coat of arms and the word ‘New Zealand’.

Another video taken by a soldier in early October and posted to social media appears to show a male unit under Russian artillery fire.

Cannonballs are heard whistling around the soldiers, and a soldier with a New Zealand accent says, “We need to get the f*** out of here.”

The potential presence of New Zealand soldiers or ex-combatants in Ukraine was subsequently scrutinized Death of Corporal Dominique Abelen Donbass region in August. He was on unpaid leave from the NZDF at the time and was not active.

A subsequent investigation by the NZDF found no other soldiers on leave in the country. But the Self-Defense Forces said. Both reservists are army corporals and appear to have been or have been in Ukraine before.

The NZDF said at the time that uniformed officials were required to inform their chain of command of their international travel plans if they were to take unpaid leave, but they were not required to check in regularly.

Abelen had not notified his New Zealand military commanders and family that he was leaving to fight in the war-torn European country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is now advising New Zealanders not to travel to Ukraine due to security concerns related to Russian aggression.

This article was originally published on the New Zealand Herald website.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/478659/former-new-zealand-soldier-fighting-on-frontline-in-ukraine Former New Zealand soldiers fighting on the front lines in Ukraine

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