- It is not true that the US is mobilising mercenaries to participate in combat action in Ukraine.
- The story refers to a private advertisement recruiting candidates to take part in rescue operations of people and families in Ukraine.
Information published on the BLITZ website spreads the false claim that the US is mobilizing ‘mercenaries to take part in combat action in Ukraine.’ Factcheck.bg reviewed the claim after receiving an alert from a reader.
The title of the publication uses the word ‘mobilisation’, while the text talks about ‘mass recruitment of mercenaries to take part in combat action in Ukraine’. The picture also supports the suggestion that these are the soldiers who will take part in the fighting. In fact, there is no mobilisation, no soldiers are being recruited to take part in combat action, nor is the story about the actions of the US state. It is about a private company recruiting people with military experience to take part in operations to extract people from Ukraine.
A review by Factcheck.bg showed that the primary source of the story were Russian websites, which published it as early as the end of September. The text was first published in Bulgarian at the beginning of October. It has been translated from Russian verbatim and without any subsequent editing. Although it purports to be information, the text is clearly judgmental. It explains what US ‘mercenaries’ are doing in countries “where the US has already ‘brought democracy'”, and the extraction operations are depicted as follows:
‘Extraction is the standard procedure used by US mercenaries when it is necessary to quickly and quietly ‘extract’ Washington’s protégés from a small country before being overtaken by the ‘people’s love’ swinging under the windows of the residence before a screaming mob.’
Job advertisement or mobilisation
No such job advertisement exists in Ukraine. It was posted on the SilentProfessionals.org website by a private US-based corporation whose name has not been officially announced. From the description, it is clear that they professionals with more than 5 years of military experience gained in this region of Europe are sought to participate in operations to extract people and families from Ukraine. Depending on the skillset of the candidate, the remuneration varies between 1000 and 2000 dollars per day.
The position, posted on SilentProfessionals.org, is not just for Americans. Individuals who hold British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Ukrainian, Polish citizenship, or dual citizenship of an EU or a Schengen country can also apply.
SilentProfessionals.org is a legitimate private portal publishing job postings in the security, logistics and administration fields.
The difference between an employee and a ‘mercenary’
The relationship between a worker and an employer is, according to the job posting, regulated by the so-called Contractor (1099), which would constitute a civil contract under Bulgarian labour law. That is, the persons are hired to perform a certain activity and are neither employees of the company nor ‘mercenaries’.
The job description does not include direct involvement in the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but only assistance in operations to remove people from Ukraine. The claim that this is how ‘mercenaries’ are recruited is untrue.
According to the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1948 relative to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, ‘mercenaries’ can only be people who actually take direct part in hostilities in return for payment.
No mobilization announced in the US
No military mobilization in the context of the war in Ukraine is taking place in the United States. Mobilization can only be declared in the event of war, with the President having the power to mobilize up to 1,000,000 men, and Congress having the power to call up all men of fighting age.
On the very first day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, US President Joe Biden announced that the country would not be sending troops to fight in Ukraine. ‘Our troops will not be deployed to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but they will defend NATO allies,’ Biden said at the time.
It is not true that the United States is mobilizing mercenaries to fight in Ukraine. A private company has posted a job advertisement seeking individuals to participate in the evacuation of people from areas affected by the military conflict. Nowhere is there any mention of direct participation of US citizens in the hostilities between Russia and Ukraine in return for payment.