From Neo-Nazi to militant: The foreign fighters in Ukraine who Australia’s laws won’t stop - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Australia’s former watchdog on national security laws, Bret Walker SC, called for changes to Australia’s foreign fighter laws in response to the ABC’s revelations that Australians had fought with militant groups in Ukraine.
Mr Walker said Australia was vulnerable to any returned ultranationalist fighters who go on to become violent.
“Those are people whose skills, experiences and lack of sensitivity are very likely to constitute dangers in this country,” he said.
“There is a domestic concern, not just a concern about Australia’s obligations in relation to prohibiting war, but also domestic concern in terms of terrorist dangers in Australia.”
Mr Walker said the inconsistency in the current legislation was highlighted by the fact Australians could legally fight with the forces of foreign government dictators like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
As the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor in 2014, Mr Walker SC made a recommendation to Federal Parliament for the law to be changed so that all foreign fighting would be illegal unless officially approved by the Australian Government.
His recommendations were ignored.
“There’s very little sign that there was — let alone at parliamentary level — any consideration of them,” Mr Walker said.
“They have been utterly silent in relation to the basic principle that Australians should not fight abroad except for Australia or with Australia’s approval.”
Italy Moves To Crack Down On Its Fighters In Ukraine’s Donbas
On August 1, Italian police announced they had arrested three men accused of recruiting mercenaries to fight in eastern Ukraine. Three others are still being sought after prosecutors in the northern Italian city of Genoa accused the six of fighting in eastern Ukraine and recruiting others to the cause.
It was the first time that Italian authorities have charged anyone with fighting in eastern Ukraine, where more than 10,300 people have died since the conflict erupted in April 2014.
In a statement, Italian police said they searched the homes of another seven people as part of the investigation into the Italian-Ukrainian recruitment network. Some of the suspects allegedly had ties with the commander of a neo-Nazi paramilitary unit called Rusich, which operates in Ukraine’s Donbas region.
Genoese prosecutors have also charged 15 others with being members of the recruitment ring.
Authorities in Genoa carried out the probes and arrests in tandem with ROS, the anti-organized-crime and antiterrorism branch of the carabinieri, Italy’s paramilitary national police force.
Police in Genoa have been investigating far-right networks in the area since 2016, according to the Genova Today newspaper.
However, as UNIAN notes, the action comes months after a Ukrainian lawmaker submitted a list of 25 Italians believed to be fighting with the separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Publication en 2017 et suite à un colloque NATO en Moldavie d’un receuil de recherches sur le phénomène des foreign fighters autre que le cas Syrie.
Foreign Fighters in Ukraine : Risk analisys from the point of view of NATO.