- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Sweden Warns Citizens Going to Fight in Ukraine May Become a Threat Upon Return

© REUTERS / KAI PFAFFENBACHA foreign fighter walks past an honour guard . Lviv, Ukraine, March 16, 2022
A foreign fighter walks past an honour guard . Lviv, Ukraine, March 16, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.04.2022
According to the Swedish Security Police, members of militant right-wing groups among the country's volunteers to Ukraine may return home with a significantly lower threshold for violence.
Numerous Swedes with links to right-wing pro-violence organisations have travelled to Ukraine to support its cause after the start of Russia's special operation to demilitarise and de-Nazify the country. According to the Nordic country's Security Police Säpo, they may pose a threat when they return home.
Per Swedish Radio, no fewer than 678 Swedish volunteers are currently fighting in Ukraine.
The 47-year-old Lidingö native, Philip Brännvall, who formally organised the Swedish volunteer brigade, says only people with military training or professional skills to be used militarily, such as doctors and engineers, are being sought out.
According to Säpo, though, which claims to have a good overview of how many Swedes are participating in the fighting and how many of them have links to violent extremism, some of the recruits may become even more dangerous when they return home.

"You come home traumatised, with the violence threshold being significantly lower than before, so this is mainly why we follow this", Fredrik Hallström, unit manager for counter-terrorism at Säpo, told Swedish Radio.

Earlier, Sweden became one of Europe's premier jihadi exporters per capita, providing over 300 "foreign fighters", as they were dubbed in formal parlance, to the Islamist uprising in Iraq and Syria.
The presence of foreign right-wing elements in Ukraine has been known since 2014, when a conflict flared up in the eastern part of the country as Russian-speaking Donbass declared independence. One of the more notorious examples includes Swede Mikael Skillt who has fought with the neo-Nazi Azov battalion since 2014. Skillt, a former construction worker and avowed nationalist with seven years of experience in the Swedish Army and the Swedish National Guard, by his own admission performed the duties of a sniper and a commander of a smaller reconnaissance unit. Despite obvious clues, including the insignia, the Azov battalion's neo-Nazi links have been vehemently denied by the Ukrainian leadership and meticulously whitewashed by the Western media, which supports the "No Nazis in Ukraine" narrative.
After Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on people from all over the world to join the fight against Russia, an International Legion was set up in Ukraine and all foreign mercenaries were exempted from visas. Earlier in March, Russia warned that foreign mercenaries will be shown no mercy and carried out a massive cruise missile strike on the Yavorov military training base in western Ukraine. The Russian Defence Ministry estimated that over 200 foreign fighters were killed and over 400 more injured in the strike.
After more than a month of fighting, the ranks of Westerners who volunteered to fight in Ukraine have dwindled, with some leaving the country and going on to post viral testimonials online relating to suspected Ukrainian war crimes, the presence of neo-Nazi and even jihadist fighters among their ranks, threats against their personal safety by Ukrainian commanders, and demands that they head to the front lines without proper weapons, ammunition, and equipment.
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