"Surplus" uniform/ bad optics, or good business?

Leverage and optics.
two sides of a similar coin:
and sorry to link a Daily Wail, but that's the exact point:

also


Sure, one can discuss the nuanced difference between contractors, advisors, trainers, mercs, and BATT,
but this is also a war of appearances, and twitter/telegram posts.
In a war zone wearing kit with a Royal Marine Commando patch, and a Union Flag - what does that look like? What can it be made to look like? Can be advantageous to either side.
The last link you posted is of two blokes who are full members of the Ukrainian military, one I know was a member before the recent invasion by Russia.

The second link also shows a former british soldier who joined the new Ukrainian military unit for foreigners.

All in all none meet the requirements to be classified as mercenaries, no matter what the Russians say.
 
Leverage and optics.
two sides of a similar coin:
and sorry to link a Daily Wail, but that's the exact point:

also


Sure, one can discuss the nuanced difference between contractors, advisors, trainers, mercs, and BATT,
but this is also a war of appearances, and twitter/telegram posts.
In a war zone wearing kit with a Royal Marine Commando patch, and a Union Flag - what does that look like? What can it be made to look like? Can be advantageous to either side.
Is his quote lost the context or doesn’t he know the situation ?


Mr Lewis, who said he did not want to comment on the specific situation of the two men, added: “We always have responsibility for British citizens, which we take seriously.

“We’ve got to get the balance right in Ukraine and that’s why I say to anybody: do not travel illegally to Ukraine. That is not the way to do it.”


His remarks may be regarding British citizens travelling to fight, as opposed to the two who are being used as pawns.

When Liz Truss said that she would support those British citizens who travelled to fight there was criticism on here for what the implications of such a statement could be.

The two prisoners had settled in Ukraine and are fully fledged Ukrainian soldiers.
Ukraine have been careful to bring foreign volunteers into the International Brigade with the status of Ukrainian soldiers rather than mercenaries, and put together a ‘proper’ application process to aim for suitable fighters. Others have travellled ‘illegally’ and lied their way through the Polish border etc to try and join the International Brigade, and then may have changed their mind, been rejected or been accepted.
(There are also those who hung around the border taking selfies for social media and then went home)
 
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