Björn says that about 20% of Legion recruits leave after 2-5 missions because they understand that “war is hell.”
Once a fisherman from the Faroe Islands named Björn now defends Ukraine as part of the International Legion. Now a warrior with the call sign “Viking”, he talked about the intensive training in the Legion and the realities at the front.
“This is the second war. It’s not like Iraq, Afghanistan or any other war. It’s like the First World War, only with drones. You run through trenches, through bunkers. Even former soldiers need to be retrained,” he told Euronews.
International Legion: introduction and hard training
Björn went to Ukraine despite his family’s persuasion. There he had to undergo intensive training before standing up to defend the Ukrainian state. According to him, the intensity of training is such that 40% of people do not complete it. The initial physical training lasted from three to four weeks, and Björn says he lost 20 pounds in five weeks. 26 people then dropped out of school midway.
In general, the preparation lasts two months. Fighters train in full gear, in bulletproof vests that can weigh up to 20 kg – and all this at a temperature of 26 degrees Celsius.
“Many guys came. They joined the Legion, and after a week they said that I have eight years of experience in the army, I’m a ranger, a major, something else, and then they quit training,” he said.
Björn says that about 20% of recruits leave after 2-5 missions because they understand that “war is hell.”
Realities at the front
According to the fighter, many Russian invaders are not only very young, but also do not have armor or helmets. Many of them are inexperienced, and when they are sent to the front, they get lost. Russians throw inexperienced soldiers to the front first – dig trenches and the like. More prepared invaders are coming after that.
According to him, it is very easy to distinguish Russian paratroopers from conscripts, because “the conscripts are very cowardly, they start shooting from 80-100 meters”, and they fire blindly out of fear. But enemy paratroopers and professional soldiers with extensive experience are very aggressive.
The enemy also resorts to dirty tricks. Björn said that in many places, including Bakhmut, Russian soldiers held residents hostage in order to use them as human shields. The occupiers “knew that the Ukrainians would not shoot.” His own battalion found evidence of mass burials with “all signs of extortion”, which, in his opinion, was carried out by PMC “Wagner”. He also saw videos of women being raped by the occupiers, or women and children being fired from tanks.
He added that Russian soldiers destroy everything, including villages near the border with only 20 inhabitants. According to him, they intend to destroy everything that concerns Ukraine. So Björn has a feeling that he is fighting for a good cause.
Lessons of the war and plans for the future
According to the soldier, during the war he learned to appreciate the little things in life.
“I used to hate going to children’s theater performances, but in the future I will be happy. Now I easily go inside… Before the war, I was an avowed workaholic, and now I am a soldier who appreciates the little things in life,” he said.
Voenny added that when the war ends, he plans to watch the eruption of the Icelandic volcano with his 14-year-old son.
“You see, at the front we remain people, and not just cannon fodder, because of the knowledge that behind us are civilians who take care that we are well, fed, warm in winter, that we have coffee, food, sweets. The feeling that we are appreciated and we are not alone,” he summarized.
War in Ukraine: important news
Experts of the Kyiv Research Institute of Forensic Examinations confirmed the use by the Russians of the “hypersonic” 3M22 “Zirkon” missile during the attack on Ukraine on February 7, 2024. Its wreckage was discovered in one of the districts of Kyiv.
Meanwhile, BILD military expert Yulian Repke writes that Avdeevka may fall in the coming days or weeks. The reason, according to him, lies in the quantitative superiority of the enemy – both in personnel and in weapons.
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