'Russians worse than ISIS' says former US Marine training Ukrainians

'Russians worse than ISIS' says former US Marine training Ukrainians
The former US Marine is in Ukraine training the country's special forces units, and was one of the first people to re-enter Bucha after Russian forces were repelled in early April.
2 min read
22 April, 2022
Atrocities committed by Russian troops have been uncovered as Ukrainian forces retake territory [Getty]

A former US Marine has called the actions of the Russian army "worse than ISIS", after witnessing atrocities in Bucha and other areas of eastern Ukraine previously occupied by Moscow's forces.

Andy Milburn - who served with US forces in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya - said the level of brutality by Russian forces against Ukrainian civilians exceeds what he has witnessed by Islamic State group fighters.

The retired marine commanded a special operations task force against IS in 2016.

"This appears to have been a very, very deliberate approach to killing civilians," wrote Andy Milburn for Newsweek.  

"I have greater respect for the ethical behaviour of the Islamic State than I do for the Russians. That is no exaggeration," said Milburn. 

"I was one of the first people in Bucha after the Russian retreat and I saw the bodies dumped there, including kids' bodies."  

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Milburn first arrived in Ukraine to write for defence publications, before setting up a training organisation for Ukrainian special forces called "The Mozart Group".

The name of the organisation - after the classical composer - has attracted comparisons with Wagner, a notorious Russian mercenary group active in Libya, Syria, Mali, and other conflict zones.

The group has been accused of atrocities and human rights abuses in these countries, most recently in Mali.

"I don't want anyone to think we're anything like them and I don't want anyone to think our sole purpose is to oppose them. We have such contempt for that organisation," said the former soldier. 

The Mozart Group is in the country "delivering critical capabilities to Ukrainian frontline units", according to the organisation’s website.