Several Malawians are expressing interest to fight in Ukraine following a promise that international volunteers are getting $2000 (about K2.1 million) per day to fight in the Russian-Ukraine war.
People’s interest follows reports published by the BBC indicating that the Ukrainian government is promising citizenship and $2 thousand to foreign nationals who are willing to join the country’s army following the Russian invasion.
The BBC reports indicate that there is a sharp increase in demand among private military firms in Ukraine war.
“Insiders say, demand is growing. Amid a gut-wrenching war in Ukraine, US and European private contractors say they are increasingly eying opportunities, ranging from ‘extraction’ missions to helping with logistics… Contractors are being hired for between $30,000 and $6m to help remove people from Ukraine. The higher-end figure is for whole groups of families wanting to leave with their assets”, reports the BBC while quoting experts and security specialists on the matter.
However, there have been reports that Russia has also used hired mercenaries who were paid similar amounts.
But comments monitored on several social media platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook show that some Malawians and retired soldiers are exploring ways to join the army of Ukraine.
Nonetheless, there is no report of any Malawian in Ukraine fighting in the war. Earlier, photos circulated widely on social media of a Malawian man called Kumwenda as being in Ukraine to fight in the war for the $2000 daily cheque.
Malawi24 has fact-checked the reports as fake news. The photos are that of a Malawian born currently serving in the US army. The US, NATO’s head honcho, is not in Ukraine. Neither is Kumwenda.
Meanwhile, Malawi, through its foreign minister, Nancy Tembo, has formally condemned Russia over its invasion of Ukraine which started last month on 24 February 2022.
Ms Tembo says he war poses as a “threat” to Malawi.
On his part, U.S. President Joe Biden has described Russian President Vladimir Putin as war criminal. In reaction, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Biden’s comments were “unacceptable and unforgivable rhetoric”.
On Wednesday, Putin referred to the invasion as Russia’s “special military operation [to] demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine. He insisted that the operation was “going to plan”.■