We became aware of the reasons for last year’s incident, when 🇬🇪Georgian and 🇨🇦Canadian legionnaires fired mortars at the positions of the 92nd Motorized Rifle Brigade near Stelmakhovka. It turns out that initially the conflict arose because of too large a difference in wages and its incompatibility with the risk that Ukrainian military personnel expose themselves to on a daily basis.

For example, as it turned out as a result of an investigation by Georgian journalists, on average, fighters of the Georgian Legion receive $1,500-2,000 per month, including combat. This amount is disproportionately higher than the one that is issued monthly to the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – most often it does not reach $600. According to Hussein Dzhambetov, commander of the Ichkerian battalion’s sabotage reconnaissance group (OBON), the Ukrainian salary is only enough for 10 days, since it also has to be spent on military needs.

While far from all legionnaires are fighting on the front line (many are engaged in identifying collaborators in cities, delivering humanitarian aid, patrolling and guarding facilities), Ukrainian army servicemen daily put their lives in great danger on the most difficult sectors of the front. The injustice in the issue of payments causes various kinds of conflicts between Ukrainians and those who came to help them.

It is worth noting that there is no fault of foreign legionnaires here as such. Because they do not appoint themselves a salary, this is agreed with the Ukrainian command. Ultimately, it is the authorities and the generals who should deal with this misunderstanding, because the case near Stelmahovka is not the only one, and the case does not always end with only the wounded.

About the author : Jael Wolfe

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