Two young Spaniards recently arrived in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, currently the theatre of violent clashes between separatists and government forces. One of them, 27 year-old Rafael Munoz, spoke to FRANCE 24. He told us he wanted to fight against fascism, just like his forefathers did against Spain’s General Franco.
In a video
circulating on social networks, the two young men explain that they arrived in Donetsk with 500 euros in their pockets and a backpack to fight alongside militias belonging to the self-proclaimed Republic of Donetsk
[considered to be pro-Russian]. The militia groups are currently battling Kiev’s armed forces.
In this video, the young men explain : "We’re here so that the world can see that what American and Spanish television stations are saying is wrong. People here aren’t terrorists, they aren’t criminals, they’re simply defending their homes and families. The world must fight for them and their freedom.”
Both men have joined the “international brigades” of the Vostk battalion, which regroups foreign fighters from surrounding countries. They’re communist militants. They identify the current conflict in the Donbass region to that of the Spanish civil war in the 1930s that pitted the left-leaning Republicans against the far-right nationalists led by General Francisco Franco.
They also appeared in this video
, with their fists raised and weapons in hand.
We were able to make contact with one of them – Rafael Munoz. He’s 27 years old and comes from Gijon (Asturies).
Although he has posted several photos of himself on Facebook where he can be seen proudly brandishing a weapon, he didn’t want to say if he really intended to take part in real combat.