Russia Announces Intelligence Estimates on Numbers of Foreign Mercenaries Fighting For Ukraine

Since before the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian War in late February Russian government sources have widely claimed that the Ukrainian Military has benefitted from support from mercenary units from Western-aligned states, most notably Poland, Georgia and the Baltic States. These allegations come amid growing revelations from Western sources regarding the roles played both by Western personnel and intelligence agents on the ground in Ukraine, as well as the presence of military contractors whose deployments have been financed by Western governments. Russian intelligence estimates for the number of mercenaries killed include 99 Polish, 36 Canadian, 33 Romanian and 21 U.S. citizens and further deaths from both NATO and non-NATO states. Providing insight into Russian intelligence estimates for the number of foreign military contractors in Ukraine, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashekov stated on August 9: "The number of mercenaries involved in fighting in Ukraine declined from 2,741 to 2,192 in the past four weeks, from July 8 to August 5, as a result of offensive operations by the Russian Armed Forces and the People’s Militias of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.” He added that 175 mercenaries, including 81 from Georgia had arrived in Ukraine in recent weeks. "The number of mercenaries arriving in Ukraine does not offset their losses. A total of 335 mercenaries were killed in the reported period. Another 389 militants left Ukraine," he added. 

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