Donbass’ Volunteers vs. Kiev’s Mercenaries: What’s the Difference?

The ideological face-off of forces is one of genuine anti-fascists on the Donbass side fighting against faux ‘anti-fascists’ on Kiev’s, the latter of whom are genuine fascists. This makes the first-mentioned genuine volunteers while the second are genuine mercenaries even though the unaware observer might consider them both to be volunteers or mercenaries.

President Putin expressed his support on Friday of Defense Minister Shoigu’s proposal to have Russia help relocate those international volunteers to Donbass who are eager assist these two newly recognized republics. According to Shoigu, “The largest number of requests, over 16,000, has come from the Middle East. We believe that we should grant these requests, especially since the matter does not concern money but a genuine desire of these people. We know many of them; they helped us fight ISIS in the most difficult period, during the past 10 years.”

President Putin responded by saying that “Regarding the mobilisation of mercenaries from all over the world and sending them to Ukraine. We can see that Ukraine’s Western sponsors and the Ukrainian regime are not concealing this fact. They are doing this openly and neglecting norms of international law. So, if you see that some volunteers would like to come and help the people in Donbass, especially without pay, then we should meet them halfway and help them relocate to the war zone.” Quite predictably, the Western Mainstream Media (MSM) and their allies spun the facts about this proposal.

Some described these volunteers as “mercenaries” while infamous Russophobe and former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tweeted that this is “Another sign of Putins desperation”. The facts, however, contradict this spin. These are genuine volunteers inspired by ideological solidarity with the people of Donbass in their anti-fascist struggle to support their brothers in arms, especially in the humanitarian sphere and in ensuring security from “sleeper cells” after the hot phase of the current conflict ends, exactly as many of them did in Syria vis-à-vis the banned terrorist group ISIS.

In response to McFaul’s claims about “Putin’s desperation”, there’s no denying the military asymmetry between Russia and Kiev, which adds credence to the observation that the second-mentioned’s urgent plea for 16,000 “volunteers” to literally fight on the front lines against the Russian Armed Forces (RAF) throughout the course of their ongoing special military operation in Ukraine represents true desperation. Those “volunteers” are therefore actually more akin to mercenaries though since they’re entering the war zone for the express purpose of fighting and not helping the locals in other ways.

Nobody should doubt that Russia has enough manpower to satisfy the needs of its special operation. It doesn’t need any “mercenaries”, but if genuine volunteers want to help the Donbass Republics rebuild and sustainably ensure their security afterwards, then there’s nothing immoral about helping them get to their destination. This is especially the case since they’re literally volunteering, as in, wanting to provide their services without pay or any other form of compensation. That’s the opposite of Kiev’s foreigners, who are reportedly receiving something or another in exchange for their combat services.  

There’s another layer that explains the reason why the Donbass volunteers aren’t mercenaries and that’s the ideological drivers behind their decision. Just like thousands of volunteers joined the Spanish Civil War on the side of the anti-fascist Republicans, so too are many about to do the same on the side of anti-fascist Donbass Republics. All of this is happening ahead of Russia’s upcoming International Anti-Fascist Congress in August, the recent announcement of which might have been what inspired so many thousands of people across the world to express interest in joining the ideological struggle there.

By contrast, the ideological dimensions of Kiev’s so-called “struggle” are perverted, twisted, and have no semblance to objective reality. Literal fascists, including those who shamelessly self-identify as such and flaunt imagery connected to Hitler’s genocidal World War II collaborators, present themselves as so-called “anti-fascists” to the US-led Western MSM. They claim that they’re fighting against what they falsely label “Russian fascism”, all in an attempt to gaslight their patrons into sending more mercenaries to support their losing fight against the RAF.

The self-processed “anti-fascists” of Antifa (which literally means “anti-fascist”) have always been fascist in spirit as evidenced by the violent means that they often employ to impose their liberal totalitarianism onto others. The ideological face-off of forces is therefore one of genuine anti-fascists on the Donbass side fighting against faux “anti-fascists” on Kiev’s, the latter of whom are genuine fascists. This makes the first-mentioned genuine volunteers while the second are genuine mercenaries even though the unaware observer might consider them both to be volunteers or mercenaries.

The distinction is important though because it implies moral support or lack thereof for one or another’s cause. Volunteers are considered in the public imagination to be selfless individuals who are doing something noble while mercenaries are thought to be selfish money-hungry thugs whose every action is seen as immoral. Genuine anti-fascists who are willing to help the people of Donbass rebuild their republics and ensure security after the conflict ends (and all without pay) comprise the first category while faux “anti-fascists” who are getting paid to fight genuine anti-fascists comprise the second.

Kiev’s losing, and badly, hence its urgent plea for foreign mercenaries to help its genuine fascists repel the RAF’s steady advances, while Donbass and its Russian allies are winning, which explains why their fellow anti-fascists across the world (including those that have first-hand experiencing fighting against ISIS’ brand of fascism) are flocking to those newly recognized republics to help rebuild their ideological allies’ societies and ensure their security into the future. There’s no comparison between Donbass’ volunteers and Kiev’s mercenaries other than they’re foreigners entering a war zone.

By Andrew Korybko
Source: OneWorld

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