US Customs Questioning Americans Volunteering to Fight in Ukraine, Reports Say

© AP Photo / Markus SchreiberA man carries combat gear as he leaves Poland to fight in Ukraine, at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022
A man carries combat gear as he leaves Poland to fight in Ukraine, at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.05.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) airport officers have been questioning Americans departing to Ukraine to join the Ukrainian military, fearful of far-right extremists who would improve their combat experience abroad, according to the CBP intelligence notice, unveiled by Politico on Wednesday.
"Ukrainian nationalist groups including the Azov Movement are actively recruiting racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist-white supremacists (RMVE-WS) to join various neo-Nazi volunteer battalions in the war against Russia," the notice read, as quoted in the report.
The document mentioned six Americans who were intending to travel to Ukraine. Five of them were questioned by the CBP officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, while the sixth one had his luggage searched. However, the document does not specify whether the interrogated persons managed to reach Ukraine or not.
The document also revealed that the US security agencies have been digging into the information about US nationals willing to get into Ukraine, with a view to identifying links with far-right movements in the US, Ukraine or third countries, while also looking into their activities after returning home.
Furthermore, the CBP leaved several questions opened, referring to them as "Intelligence Gaps." Those questions were how many people will travel from the United States to Ukraine, what groups they are trying to join, what strategies they will use "to avoid detection by law enforcement" as well as "what kind of training are foreign fighters receiving in Ukraine that they could possibly proliferate in US based militia and whiten nationalist groups."
According to Politico, the CBP refused to comment on the document, citing the agency's policy.
The notice was issued on 7 March, just a few days after the Ukrainian authorities launched a website for recruiting combat volunteers to join the so-called International Legion of Territorial Defence of Ukraine. The document stipulated that in early days of the initiative the CBP had identified a large number of Americans willing to join the fight by questioning and searching them at the airports. The document particularly focused on "violent extremist-white supremacists" who have the record of combat operations and seek joining the Azov regiment, accused of adhering to the neo-nationalist ideology.
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