DONETSK, April 3. /TASS/. Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups operating on the line of contact in Donbass are mostly made up of foreign mercenaries, Yan Gagin, a military analyst and an adviser to the Donetsk People’s Republic’s acting head, told TASS on Monday.
"Ukrainian reconnaissance groups mostly include qualified Western experts," Gagin said, citing intelligence. He added that "among them are both mercenaries and regular servicemen." According to Gagin, foreigners also train Ukrainian servicemen and mobilized soldiers in reconnaissance.
On March 2, Konstantin Gavrilov, head of the Russian delegation to the Vienna talks on military security and arms control, reported that there was information about the presence of about 20,000 mercenaries near Artyomovsk (the Ukrainian name for Bakhmut). Earlier, Gagin informed that most foreign mercenaries are deployed in the Artyomovsk and Andreyevsk directions.
The presence of foreign mercenaries in the ranks of the Ukrainian armed forces has been recorded since last spring. The most prevalent among these are Poles. In an interview with TASS in late December 2022, Leonid Pasechnik, acting head of the Lugansk People’s Republic, said that thousands of mercenaries from more than 50 countries are fighting in the ranks of the Ukrainian armed forces in the zone of Russia's special military operation. According to the governor, some of them have been taking part in hostilities since 2014.