U.S. Colonel Training Zelensky Forces Accuses Soldiers of War “Atrocities”
By Jon Jackson
Andrew Milburn, a retired U.S. Marine colonel who spent months in Ukraine helping to train President Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces, said during a recent interview that there had been “all kinds of atrocities” in Ukraine.
Milburn is the founder and CEO of The Mozart Group, a company composed mainly of former special operations soldiers that has provided services to Ukraine ranging from frontline training to medical evacuation and casualty care. Milburn named the company as a direct counterpoint to the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary outfit that shares its name with another famous composer.
Max Blumenthal, founder of The Grayzone website, posted a clip to Twitter on Monday of Milburn speaking last month on The Team House podcast.
After months in Ukraine training soldiers, Ret Col Andrew Milburn of @TheMozartGroup mercenary firm gets sauced on camera & spills the beans:
Ukraine is a "corrupt, fucked-up society" run by "fucked-up people"
Ukrainian soldiers "kill dudes who surrendered," commit "atrocities" pic.twitter.com/MhKljQwQpq
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) December 26, 2022
The video, which was originally posted in full on the podcast’s YouTube channel, shows Milburn continuing to express his support for Ukraine, saying working there has left him with a sense of purpose. However, he also called the country a “corrupt” society.
“I’m not a big fan of Ukraine,” he said of the government. “I care deeply about its people. I care deeply about the Ukrainian soldiers.”
Volunteers take part in training during courses with The Mozart Group, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, on September 22, 2022. Andrew Milburn, the founder of The Mozart Group, recently voiced displeasure with some of the Ukrainians he was assisting.
Milburn also seemed to take issue with what he said were Ukrainians filming prisoners of war. But he noted that “[f]or the most part, they [Ukrainians] don’t commit atrocities.”
Without mentioning a specific group, Milburn then hinted at worse offenses that may have been committed in Ukraine.
“You shouldn’t kill dudes who surrendered…and there was plenty of that,” he said. “There’s all kinds of atrocities to go around.”
Millburn clarified his comments to Newsweek in a statement.
“In the course of a discussion that lasted over two hours I gave a balanced view of the Ukrainain war effort—praising them where I see strengths but also being candid about areas that need to be improved if the Ukrainian cause is to remain unimpeachable in the eyes of the international community,” Milburn wrote. “My comments were cut down to the barest bones without context—but in essence what I was saying was that the Ukrainians must hold the moral high ground. If—as they rightfully claim—they represent the values of the free world, then they must be meticulous about cracking down on violations of those same principals.”
Before his time in Ukraine, Milburn spent more than 30 years in the Marines and completed tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2020, he published his memoir, When the Tempest Gathers, that chronicles his time on battlefields around the world.
Blumenthal tweeted that during The Team House interview “the craft bourbon flowed” while Milburn spoke with hosts Dave Parke and Jack Murphy. Blumenthal hints that intoxication played a part in Milburn veering “to paint a much darker picture of what he saw in Ukraine.”