Teddy, a 26-year-old Uruguayan soldier who has been fighting with the Ukrainian Army since the Russian invasion began on February 24, 2022, spoke to Uruguay’s Telenoche and told that he joined the war to take advantage of everything he learned in his military training.
After so many years of military training, I wanted to put it into something to take advantage of everything I learned during that time, he said.
The Uruguayan soldier arrived in Ukraine and had to pass a couple of tests to join the army. Then, he was offered to be part of a group dedicated to special missions.
This is a team made up of foreigners who carry out specific operations such as, for example, attacking logistics or ammunition depots, cutting off enemy movements or even attacking from behind.
The group is made up of 12 fighters: six Americans, a Frenchman, an Englishman, a Portuguese, a Moldovan, Teddy and the commander, who is Ukrainian.
The only Ukrainian in the group is the commander, the officer; he receives orders from the commander of the international legion, but he is under orders from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Uruguayan military officer indicated.
I feel very comfortable working with them and there is a very strong bond, a certain brotherhood is formed. Something I like about these people is that they transmit trust, he added.
In this sense, Teddy detailed that in the preparation phase they had training in military bases with an impressive infrastructure. Then we went to Kiev, the capital, we had some more classes on drones and then the administrative issue, and then we went through another selection process and there was finally formed the group that was going to be in operations, he said.
Teddy stated that he does not keep count of how many people he killed, but affirmed that in war there is a very disparate universe.
We are talking about a human life, at the moment it is simply a person who is shooting at me, it is a person who is doing the same as me, it is a combatant. After the combat, when you are calm, you can have another reflection, other thoughts about it, but in the combat itself you do not stop to analyze that kind of things, he said.
On the other hand, the Uruguayan soldier said that he decided to fight for Ukraine because in this war there is an aggressor and an aggressed.
Initially, when we saw the way Ukraine fights against Russia, I think it moved everybody, especially me, to see how many people without experience or without much equipment were fighting an army, which is supposed to be the second largest army in the world, he said.
Teddy claimed that the pay did not motivate him at any point. There is not enough pay to offer your life. There is a salary, but it's not the motivation; if it was that I would be doing anything else different. While there may be people who come for the pay, people come from all over the world. There is certain money that in other parts of the world yields much more than for us, he explained.
On the other hand, the Uruguayan soldier said that he did not directly tell his parents that he was going to join the Ukrainian Army.
I think they somehow knew, mainly my mother and my closest friends. I remember in the battalion where I was I knew I was about to leave, but you keep preparing military equipment and at the same time we have the war. The president [Volodymir Zelensky] called for foreign volunteers and, knowing me, I think they were already suspicious, they just didn't want to take it on, they didn't want to accept, he said.
Teddy said that he has no plans to return to Uruguay for now. For the moment what I think is that maybe I will stay here until the summer, I could change those plans, it is not something I have established, I feel very comfortable working with this group, but for now what I think is the summer, June, July, and then I will return to Uruguay, visit relatives and probably come back here, he said.