Israeli ex-commandos training Ukrainian civilians — report

Hebrew-language newspaper reports that veterans of elite IDF units are secretly training Ukrainian civilians, as Israel continues to toe diplomatic line between Kyiv and Moscow.

By World Israel News Staff

A group of ex-IDF commandos have traveled to Ukraine, acting independently of the Israeli government, in order to train Ukrainian civilians to fight against the Russian army, according to a report from Hebrew-language daily Yediot Ahronot.

Several Israeli citizens, who claim they served in elite units in the IDF, told reporters from Yediot Ahronot that they had traveled to Ukraine in order to train both male and female civilians to engage in combat.

An Israeli man identified only by his first initial, R, told reporters that the majority of the trainees were everyday people with little to no military experience, and that his intense training program had proven to be a major challenge for them.

“I’ve seen them change,” he said. “After spending a few hours with a group that includes a waiter, a chef and a lawyer, I saw the other shoe drop.”

“Many of them threw up because of the effort and the shock [in the training program]; it wasn’t easy for them, but I saw them go outside, throw up, collect themselves, and come back because there’s just no other option.”

R and the man who serves as the main organizer of the training program, who used the alias “Danny,” claim that Israel’s defense establishment is aware of their actions, but is choosing to look the other way.

A number of ex-IDF soldiers, typically dual Ukrainian-Israeli nationals, have returned to Ukraine in order to join the war effort.

For the duration of the conflict, Israel has carefully toed the diplomatic line, maintaining good relations with both Moscow and Kyiv — a policy which has irked Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelensky, who has repeatedly demanded that the Jewish State publicly take his country’s side and condemn Russia.

Despite the establishment of an Israeli field hospital to treat wounded civilians and humanitarian aid, including medical supplies, Ukrainian officials have bemoaned Israel’s refusal to send helmets and other military gear to the embattled Eastern European nation.