The purpose of the group is to share the knowledge and experiences of former Western soldiers from previous conflicts. The operation is mainly financed by private donations from the United States.
Eastern Ukraine In Donbas, former soldiers who served in the British and American armed forces are now training fighters fighting against Russia on the Ukrainian side.
In some contexts, a group of trainers named “Mozart”. has been invited as the western equivalent of the Russian private army Wagner, which compensates for the insufficient training of the Ukrainian soldiers.
What is known about the group formed by former Western soldiers?
of the Mozart group is founded by the former deputy commander of special operations of the United States Andrew Milburnwho has previously, among other things, led the US special operation in the Middle East against the extremist organization ISIS.
News site Newsweek according to Milburn joined the United States Marine Corps in the late 1980s and retired as a colonel in 2019.
Now, Milburn is said to have enlisted a number of British and US military veterans to train Ukrainian fighters at the training center he originally set up in Kiev.
Currently, the group of trainers working in Donbas in Eastern Ukraine consists of more than 20 ex-soldiers who come from the United States, Britain, Ireland and other Western countries.
British newspaper of The Guardian according to the group is named by its members themselves. The name has been seen as a reference to the Wagner forces connected to Russia, which are often depicted Vladimir Putin into a private army.
Wagner has participated in several conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, which Western countries consider immoral. The company’s mercenaries have also been accused of human rights crimes. Russia has denied any connection to the Wagner group.
Read more: Such are the Wagner forces of Russian-linked mercenaries who have traveled to Ukraine to target President Zelenskyi
Milburn, the founder of the Mozart troupe, tells The Guardian that he was initially conflicted about the name of his group. Now, however, the appointment is already established.
“I didn’t want the group to be connected or compared to the Wagner group. We are not the opposite of the Wagner Group. What we do is a little different.”
Andrew Milburn served in the United States Army for over 30 years. Picture: US Marine Corps / Wikimedia Commons
The group the purpose is to share the knowledge and experiences of former western soldiers from different conflicts and thus train soldiers fighting on the side of Ukraine.
According to The Guardian, the group also delivers humanitarian aid such as hygiene products and food to the front lines of the war. In addition, it is said to transport vulnerable people away from combat zones.
The purpose of the training is to correct the insufficient military training of the soldiers fighting on the side of Ukraine.
As the war of aggression started by Russia has dragged on, the Ukrainian forces have suffered heavy losses, and the forces that have been defending the country’s eastern front since 2014 have weakened. That’s why after Russia invaded Ukraine, soldiers have been sent to the front, many of whom have received very little training.
The Mozart group is said to be organizing five- or ten-day crash courses for Ukrainian soldiers, where they teach, among other things, how to handle weapons, shooting and combat tactics. The courses, which last only a few days, are said to practice skills that would normally take half a year to teach.
Fighters are being trained close to the front lines of the war, as Ukrainian commanders cannot risk troops being away from the front for too long if Russian forces seek to advance.
According to Milburn, in an ideal situation, the Mozart group would have the opportunity to train 100–120 people at once, but it is not possible to take such a large number away from the front at once.
In addition, the group’s challenge has been to find local assistants. For example, according to The Guardian, the group only has two interpreters in Ukraine. According to Milburn, there are too few interpreters, but finding competent people has proven difficult.
Mozart’s the activities are mainly financed by private donations from the US, but the group has no connection to the US administration.
According to Milburn, the US government cannot finance Mozart, because then the group would risk becoming a private mercenary army.
According to him, it is clear that if any of the volunteers of the Mozart group take part in the fighting, they no longer belong to the group.
“There is a clear line.”
August 8, 2022