A US congressional candidate has quit his campaign to join foreign mercenaries fighting in Ukraine.
Mark Lindquist, the only Democrat running in Minnesota’s 7th congressional district, defied White House advice and will join Ukraine’s “International Legion of Defense.”
The former US Air Force staff sergeant, whose closest contact with combat was a “Bob Hope-style” Christmas show in Afghanistan, is “willing to die for the freedom of Ukraine” after being inspired by “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“Like the song says, ‘I’m not going to blow my chance,'” Lindquist said. washington post about the song my shot, which refers to the Marquis de Lafayette.
The French aristocrat commanded American troops during the Revolutionary War, or as the song calls him, “Mister Lafayette, rock hard like Lancelot, I think your pants look hot.”
Lindquist downloaded the soundtrack to the hit musical for the 10-hour trip to Ukraine in eight days, likely solidifying the congressional race in the November general election for Republican incumbent Michelle Fischbach.
More than 7,000 US citizens have applied to join Ukraine’s foreign legion, according to a figure provided by the Ukrainian embassy in Washington to news week.
President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that 16,000 foreign fighters from the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and elsewhere responded to his call of duty to repel Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
Reports quickly surfaced of foreigners being sent to the front lines without the proper equipment or ammunition to be used as “cannon fodder”. Carl Walsh, a former combat medic who previously served in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq for more than 20 years, said The Telegraph that it was a suicide mission for those with a “death wish”.
“To join the international legion, the Ukrainians wanted to take away our passports, sign a one-year contract, train us for two days, 48 hours, and then within another 48 hours we would be fighting in kyiv,” he said.
“They didn’t even have weapons in the camp to train with.”
The Foreign Legion experienced a mass exodus after a Russian airstrike killed 35 people at a training center near the Polish border, which was blamed on the phone signals of 12-14 British volunteers visible to Russian surveillance.
A spokesman for Ukraine’s newly formed International Legion for Territorial Defense, Corporal Damien Margrou, confirmed some claims by former recruits who were cowed by open-ended contracts and airstrikes, which Russia says killed 180 mercenaries, a figure Ukraine denies. .
“We have discharged people who wanted to leave after the attack on Sunday,” he told CTV News, adding that no one from the legion was among the casualties of that attack.
“Recruits sign a contract that is valid for the duration of martial law,” he added. “So they are signing for the duration of the war.”
“They can be court-martialed if they don’t follow military rules or if they desert. In theory, they get the same treatment as the Ukrainian military,” he continued. “In practice … we have been very understanding of people who have to leave for various personal or other reasons.”
Margrou warned would-be recruits that Ukraine is not a vacation camp and that they could not guarantee anyone’s safety in a war zone.
Despite such warnings, Lindquist, who was once an intelligence analyst stationed in Hawaii and is now a motivational speaker who sings the national anthem at NFL games, is not deterred from joining the international legion.
“I am not married. I have no children. I am a 40-year-old member of the military with no disability and no strings attached,” he told the outlet. post office.
“How can I not go? Because I know I can help either on the humanitarian side or by bringing US military training into this fight.”