The New York Times (NYT) damning report about “Stolen Valor: The U.S. Volunteers in Ukraine Who Lie, Waste and Bicker” contained an intriguing detail that most readers might have missed regarding a US mercenary’s plot to recruit Pakistani-based Afghan refugees as fighters for Kyiv. Former construction worker-turned-mercenary Ryan Routh brazenly told them about his plan to purchase passports from that country in order to facilitate this. Here’s the relevant excerpt from their report:
“With Legion growth stalling, Ryan Routh, a former construction worker from Greensboro, N.C., is seeking recruits from among Afghan soldiers who fled the Taliban. Mr. Routh, who spent several months in Ukraine last year, said he planned to move them, in some cases illegally, from Pakistan and Iran to Ukraine. He said dozens had expressed interest. ‘We can probably purchase some passports through Pakistan since it’s such a corrupt country,’ he said in an interview from Washington.”
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Understanding the matter better
The reason why he’s resorting to illegal means for getting those refugees to Kiev is that that former Soviet Republic’s authorities have thus far refused to grant visas to any Afghan fighters. Routh said in a separate interview earlier this month that “Most of the Ukrainian authorities do not want these soldiers. I have had partners meeting with [Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense] every week and still have not been able to get them to agree to issue one single visa.”
Pakistan is already suspected of indirectly arming Kyiv against Russia at the behest of its American overlord so the precedent is established for suspecting that it could support Routh’s plot. The fascist post-modern coup regime might therefore very well end up doing this despite Ukraine literally being against it if their shared US patron signals its approval, which is why it’s incumbent on Islamabad to issue a statement in response to the NYT’s latest report so as to urgently clarify this scandalous matter.
Remaining silent after one of the world’s leading Mainstream Media (MSM) outlets informed millions of people about this plan comes off as extremely suspicious. While it’s possible that Pakistan can still end up supporting Routh’s proposal even if it publicly denies any interest in doing so, its leadership should at least understand the soft power importance of reacting to this. The very fact that they haven’t suggests that they’re either not monitoring the media or could care less what the rest of the world thinks.
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Either way, Pakistan’s silence is worthy of suspicion. Russia should consider raising the issue, whether directly via its diplomats or indirectly through the media, in order to prompt its non-traditional partner to say something about this scenario. If Islamabad goes along with Routh’s plot to let him purchase passports for those Afghan refugees who are interested in fighting for Kyiv as mercenaries, then it would represent the latest instance of Pakistan’s “mission creep” in the NATO-Russian proxy war.
Andrew Korybko is a Moscow-based American political analyst, radio host, and regular contributor to several online outlets. He specializes in Russian affairs and geopolitics, specifically the US strategy in Eurasia. The article has been republished and the views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.