Money and restlessness behind volunteers fighting in Ukraine
The reasons behind Russians volunteering to fight with the separatists in eastern Ukraine are money and poor financial planning, and feeling unsettled in civilian life after participation in the Chechen wars, says Gruz-200, an organization gathering information on those fighting in Ukraine.
“It is understandable that for professional soldiers the reasons differ as many are forced to fight and there is no talk of motivation,” Oksana Gorelova, a staff member at Gruz-200, told Eesti Päevaleht.
“If we are talking about those who sign up as volunteers then first, many men have been through Chechnya conflict and many want to return to a war, this may be a kind of addiction. These people usually feel useless in normal life,” she said, adding that they miss the sense of comradery they felt with each other in the past conflicts.
A second reason is money, Gorelova said, adding that many Russian men have low financial literacy and take out loan after loan without thinking about repayment - and the sums paid to volunteers fighting in Ukraine can be huge. She said volunteers from Moscow could earn as much as 3,600 euros for a two-week trip to eastern Ukraine.