The Armed Forces of Ukraine have created the Free Russia legion: prisoners who have decided to fight the Putin regime are fighting in it. There are known cases of voluntary entry into this military unit.
As part of the legion, citizens of the Russian Federation, servicemen of the Russian army, who were captured and decided to continue military operations on the side of our Armed Forces of Ukraine against the dictatorial regime of Putin, are fighting. At the moment, several hundred Russians have already signed up for the legion - these are both ordinary soldiers and officers. The size of the legion is not exactly known. Presumably, these are from 200 to 500 fighters inside Ukraine and many "hidden" activists in Russia.
Entry into the legion is carried out exclusively on a voluntary basis. Russian prisoners of war write relevant applications, after which each candidate is tested by the Ukrainian security service and counterintelligence. Having joined the Legion "Free Russia", the Russian military continued to fight for the first weeks in their uniform, but with Ukrainian insignia. Recently, the "Free Russia" Legion received Ukrainian military uniforms and patches from its unit.
Legionnaires fight on a par with Ukrainian soldiers and as part of the Ukrainian army, receive good food and medical care.
Ukrainian instructors teach Russians how to use the NLAW complex. The personnel of the legion, under the guidance of instructors from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, studied the features of the work of the Swedish-British NLAW (Next Generation Light Anti-tank Weapon). The commanders of the units of "Free Russia" got acquainted with the operational situation on the fronts.
The commander of the "Free Russia" company appealed to the military personnel of the Russian Federation with an appeal to join the ranks of "Free Russia" in order to "save their own people and country from humiliation and devastation" together. He also admitted that on February 24, together with his subordinates, “entered the territory of independent Ukraine, following a criminal order.”
Oleksiy Arestovych (a Ukrainian presidential adviser, blogger, actor, political and military columnist) said: "
On the territory of the Russian Federation, cells of the Legion "Free Russia" appeared. This is also the name of a unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, formed in March 2022 to protect Ukraine from Russian invasion. It consists of former Russian military and Russians who were not previously members of such formations. There are already members of "Freedom of Russia" who operate inside Russia... They have relatives, friends, and so on, and "the fire of free Russia" has begun in the Russian Federation. People rise to armed struggle throughout the Russian Federation. And Russia will be free one day. In the event of a general mobilization in the Russian Federation, weapons will be distributed en masse, including the opponents of the current Kremlin policy."
In the "Free Russia" legion, which opposed the Putin regime and entered the war on the side of Ukraine, many are waiting to be mobilized to arm themselves.
“People in these cells directly say: “We don’t have weapons, but we will wait for mobilization,” - Mr. Arestovich said.
Every day the number of people willing to resist Putin's regime is growing. In every corner of Russia there are active participants who make an invaluable contribution to the long-awaited formation of Free Russia!