Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel that the Geneva Convention does not apply to foreigners who are fighting for Ukraine against Russian invaders.
According to the Russian official, the legionnaires of the Armed Forces are "mercenaries", adding that in the eyes of Russia they are "not volunteers."
(Editorial Note: Medvedev’s claim is false. Foreign volunteers in Ukraine’s International Legion are incorporated into the Ukrainian armed forces and fall under its command structure, thus, according to the Geneva Conventions (Article 4 of Geneva Convention III, and Article 43 of Additional Protocol I) they must be treated as regular prisoners of war if captured.)
"The real volunteers are the French Normandy-Neman Regiment, the First and Second Polish Armies, which took part with us in the Berlin operation in 1945, the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, which fought side by side with the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War (World War II)," Medvedev said.
Medvedev claimed foreigners came to Ukraine to fight for money and referred to them as "professional murderers with a broken psyche" with all sorts of "Nazi fixations."
He provided no evidence for his claims.
The deputy head of Russia’s national security body threatened that foreigners who are fighting on the side of Ukraine, “will have to take full responsibility for their actions if they stay alive."
"Therefore, foreign mercenaries in Ukraine who don’t surrender to our troops, together with their (Bandera-loving) mentors, will be the first to be subject to denazification," Medvedev said.
Earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that experienced veterans and volunteers from 52 countries had come to Ukraine to join the International Legion amid a full-scale Russian invasion.