Michael Stoddard went to the Ukraine two months ago to make use of his EMS experience to train the defenders of that country.
Stoddard had to return home to Rogersville, however, when the identities of he and several other International Legion members were leaked, and they became targets.
In just a few short weeks Stoddard witnessed what he describes as “crimes against humanity”.
The Review reported in the Aug. 30 edition that Stoddard of Rogersville was leaving to go train fighters in Ukraine.
Unsure if he would survive he began to document his time there, relaying his observations to the Review. Today he is back at his Rogersville home but he is experiencing nightmares as well as some lung issues from a bomb explosion.
Stoddard joined Ukraine’s International Legion. Members come in from the United States, Australia, Italy and Germany to join Ukrainian soldiers.
The CBS News recently interviewed another from the Legion returning to Tennessee with a code name of Elvis.
Stoddard’s code name was Batman. Code names were chosen and used in place of real names to protect identities. “Batman” had previous experience as a medic and trained others in medical combat and weapons.
“First it’s good to be back,” Stoddard said. “I didn’t think I’d make it. It was much worse than I expected. There were so many crimes committed against humanity. The Russian soldiers have no decency. They brutalize the citizens of Ukraine. They rape their women and children and worse. They steal from the Ukrainian people.”
He speaks about the wheat grown by the farmers in Ukraine. “Russians took their crops and their equipment. Then the farmer has to agree to farm for them and lease back his own equipment or be killed.”
Personal information of Legion Fighters were compromised in Ukraine by the Russians and their identities were exposed.
During the evening as they were sleeping a bomb dropped barely missing the barricks. They were targets and some had bounties on foreign trainers of $25,000 each. Stoddard was one of them.
Communications From “Batman” September 30
“Good morning. I am officially with the Ukrainian Army now. 104th Territorial Defense Brigade. 7032nd Alpha Company, Motorized Infantry. The Russians have put a $25,000 bounty on the heads of myself and my fellow teammates because we are foreigner’s training the Ukrainian people. If captured, we will be deemed as “mercenaries” and not afforded any of the prisoner rights afforded under the Geneva Convention. According to the Russians, Ours is an automatic sentence of death. Though we are still independent trainers, the placement within the Army now affords us a little protection if captured or kidnapped…..provided the Russians even recognize our status of course! Hopefully we don’t ever have to find out.”
Later That Day
“Currently laid up sick as with the flu & bronchitis….the hospital admitted me under my call sign; “Batman”….due to the bounties on our heads, my real name cannot be used here in case of a Russian occupation. As such, all medical documentation is given back to me, including X-rays.”
“It’s getting hot…we’ve been issued full nuclear tactical suits, breathers and radiation pills. Russian forces are beginning to arrive in southern Belarus. Low range nuclear equipment is being set into place. Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia’s region in Chechnya, has mobilized over 3,000 of his Spetsnaz troops to go into Ukrainian territory. These are the same who are notorious for multiple tortures, rape & murder in the past within Ukrainian territories. Kadyrov is also mobilizing his nuclear battalion to set along the Ukrainian border. We are under multiple alarms and preparing for the worst…”
“Today…the one and only bridge leading into Crimea has been blown up. This is on the day of Putin’s 70th birthday. The Russians have responded with force.”
“We have been requested by the Ministry to evacuate Ukraine. They are no longer processing volunteers and have shut the borders down to keep anymore from coming in. We have two weeks to evacuate. The cities are preparing for nuclear war.”
Stoddard wants to make the public aware of the issues.
“If NATO doesn’t get Ukraine involved it’s going to get ugly,” he said. “Putin is backed into a corner and will react. Ukraine isn’t budging either. This is it.”
Stoddard is scheduled to return to Ukraine in January but he has a lung issue after being exposed to a phosphorus bomb.
“Those bombs explode with white streaks slowly coming down,” he said. “Everything it comes in contact with is burned. I breathed in some fumes and singed my lungs. My prognosis is not yet known. I want to go. They need help and time is critical. They need supplies. On Facebook you can look up my account and there is a link for a paypal fund.”