Disinfo: Ukrainian Armed Forces are recruiting mercenaries from Croatia


Ukrainian Armed Forces are recruiting mercenaries from Croatia


No evidence given to support this claim. The existence of paramilitary fighters or mercenaries from NATO or US-friendly countries is a recurrent narrative in Russian disinformation since at least 2014, and it prompted a diplomatic protest from Poland back then.

The picture used in the articles allegedly showing Croats fighting on the Ukrainian side in the conflict in Donbas first surfaced in 2015.

The allegation has been repeatedly debunked in those years, but resurfaces again and again since it is useful to try to discredit the Ukrainian army and the countries that support Kiev efforts for stabilization. Many false incidents have been attributed this ‘ghost army’, from rapes to vendettas against Ukrainian soldiers due to low morale.

See here for other disinformation cases about alleged presence of foreign mercenaries in Eastern Ukraine, from Baltic snipers to snipers from Georgiafemale snipers from Poland, and even a whole NATO brigade.

Further debunking by StopFake.


  • Reported in: Issue 47
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/11/2016
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Croatia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Foreign mercenaries


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

see more