Redditors in Ukraine's International Legion meme example depicting a soyjak with a Ukrainian flag shooting at a Russian Z APC.

Redditors in Ukraine's International Legion

Part of a series on 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine. [View Related Entries]

Updated Mar 17, 2022 at 04:42PM EDT by Zach.

Added Mar 16, 2022 at 10:14AM EDT by Philipp.

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Redditors in Ukraine's International Legion refers to the stories told by Reddit users who supposedly fought as foreign fighters on the side of Ukraine during the 2022 Russo-Ukrainian War in the country's foreign legion. The stories, mainly shared on the /r/VolunteersForUkraine subreddit that describe injuries sustained by the foreign legion, have been widely circulated online, particularly on 4chan and Twitter. While the stories were scrutinized as possibly being a part of Russia's information warfare and propaganda, members of the so-called "Reddit Legion" were mocked by some users on Reddit, 4chan and Twitter for their overconfidence and unpreparedness for the realities of war.


On February 25th, 2022, the day following the start of the 2022 Russo-Ukrainian war, the subreddit /r/VolunteersForUkraine was created,[1] serving as the website's central hub for volunteer activity in Ukraine. On February 27th, 2022, the International Legion for Territorial Defence of Ukraine, a foreign legion military unit of the Ukrainian Army, was established.[2] Starting in late February 2022, foreign soldiers from the U.K., U.S., Canada, Belgium and other countries arrived to Ukraine to join the legion and fight on the side of the Ukrainian Army. As of March 16th, 2022, the size of the legion was estimated to exceed 20,000 soldiers (reported by Ukraine).

In early March 2022, several Reddit users made posts in which they reported arriving in Ukraine to fight in the legion. For example, on March 4th, 2022, Redditor[3] manoffat posted a photograph of himself, writing that they arrived to Poland from Jersey (shown below, left). Several reports about foreign fighters arriving to Ukraine were reposted to the subreddit from Twitter (example shown below, right).[4]

Just landed in Poland all the way from Jersey. Getting fitted currently. Ready to obliterate Russians. #GloryToUkraine Euromaidan Press ... @EuromaidanPress "I am now finally a part of the Ukrainian foreign legion. From +Finnish reservist Lt. to UA recruit. People from all over the world have come here to help to defend Ukraine. My bunkmates are ENorwegian and EAmerican. There is still plenty of room for more!"@rsiren2 6:45 AM · Mar 2, 2022 · Twitter Web App


The presence of foreign soldiers who are also Redditors in Ukraine's foreign legion did not draw significant attention until March 13th, 2022, when Russia fired multiple missiles at a Ukrainian military facility where some of the foreign soldiers were undergoing training, reportedly killing 35 people and injuring 134. On the same day, Redditor[5] spindokto, whose account has since been deleted, posted a video of the strike, with the post gaining over 1,000 upvotes on the subreddit in three days (Twitter[6] reupload shown below)

In the following hours, spindokto shared a video of the aftermath of the bombing,[7] also posting multiple comments in which he described his experience in Ukraine. In one comment, spindokto wrote[8] that he together with other 60 people left the foreign legion, describing several deaths sustained by foreign soldiers in Ukraine (screenshot shown below).

klb000 · 3 days ago About 60 people with their heads on straight including myself left Wait, left? From Ukraine? Reply Give Award Share Report Save Follow [deleted] · 3 days ago Left the legion. Some are staying to help refugees - some going home. But it is clear that going to Kviv with the legion is nearly a f------ death sentence. A medic died the day after he got to the front, another guy tried shooting an AK at an APC and was killed immediately, a 10 man team was nearly wiped out - 8 killed and 2 crawled away. Your body will not be retrieved from the frontlines either. 31 Reply Share Report Save Follow

In the following days, spindokto's videos and comments were widely circulating on Twitter and 4chan. For example, on March 13th, 2022, Twitter[9] user @MogTheUrbanite reposted both videos and screenshots of multiple comments by spindokto, with multiple tweets in the thread gaining over 1,000 likes.

Online Reactions

The viral spread of spindokto's Reddit posts led to a discussion of soldiers with Reddit accounts taking part in the conflict on Reddit, 4chan's /pol/ board and Twitter. For example, on March 15th, 2022, an anonymous 4chan[10] user started one such discussion on /pol/, posting a Wojak comic meme referencing spindokto's comment (authorship unconfirmed; thread and post shown below, left and center). On March 14th, Twitter[11] user @BigGulpAmerikan shared a mockup of a Wikipedia article for "The Bombing of the Reddit Legionnaires," which gained over 590 retweets and 3,400 likes in two days, shown below, right).

AnonymouS ID:jvbCBYLF Tue 15 Mar 2022 04:27:06 No.367288987 [319/ 101 /215] Left the legion. Some are staying to help refugees - some going home. But it is clear that going to Kviv with the legion is nearly a f------ death sentence. A medic died the day after he got to the front another guy tried shooting an AK at an APC and was killed immediately, a 10 man team was nearly wiped out - B killed and 2 crawied away. Your body will not be retrieved from the frontlines either. View Reply Original Report Quoted By: >>367289149 >>367290662 >>367291068 >>367291347 >>367291747 >>367291754 >>367292107 >>367292601 >>367294482 >>367295340 >>367295613 >>367295892 >>367295930 >>367295964 >>367296141 >>367296387 >>367296465 >>367296584 >>367296729 >>367296953 >>367297728 >>367298340 >>367299316 >>367300547 >>367300660 >>367300939 >>367301584 >>367301769 >>367301954 >>367303332 >>367306126 >>367308593 >>367311953 >>367312226 Se Givemedvt >>367312388 >>367312990 >>367314546 >>367315352 >>367316590 >>367316885 >>367317020 >>367320664 >>367320753 >>367320829 >>367321338 >>367321972 >>367322406 >>367322794 >dying for reddit View Same Google igdb SauceNAO Trace 1646734893651.jpg, 80KİB, 769x622 Anonymous ID:ZfU9sieV Tue 15 Mar 2022 04:28:55 No.367289149 O Report 113KİB, 806x1024, F0481068-F8DA- Quoted By: >>367289724 >>367290214 >>367290407 >>367290599 >>367290849 >>367291038 >>367291200 409D-BD9B-CD2616E249D9.jpg >>367291868 >>367292218 >>367292242 >>367295300 >>367295814 >>367295862 >>367295981 >>367296335 View Same Google iqdb SauceNAO Trace L >>367296580 >>367297884 >>367298346 >>367298668 >>367301031 >>367303446 >>367303641 >>367308201 >>367309392 >>367310715 >>367311144 >>367311944 >>367312418 >>367314614 >>367314663 >>367315352 >>367316358 >>367319890 >>367320009 >>367320483 >>367321119 >>367288987 > trusting anything you read on Reddit View Same Google iqdb SauceNAO Trace 71BB1A2E-1727-44D0-BD75-FD765387 (.).jpg, 100KIB, 1080x616 Anonymous ID:RHVjrPi4 Tue 15 Mar 2022 04:35:30 No.367289724 Report Quoted By: >>367290052 >>367290778 >>367291614 >>367300660 >>367303446 >>367315352 >>367321972 >>367289149 This is cope. 180 of the f------ c---- got leveled in a building a few days ago. View Same Google iqdb SauceNAO Trace a 1647322587058.png, 284KIB, 1500x900 Anonymous ID:CdhYBf+1 Tue 15 Mar 2022 04:38:41 No.367290052 Report Quoted By: >>367298044 >>367303518 >>367289724 wrecked Anonymous ID:J9nNyLCU Tue 15 Mar 2022 04:40:21 No.367290197 Report kek 4: Left the legion. Some are staying to help refugees - some going home. But it is clear that going to Kviv with the legion is nearly a f------ death sentence. A medic died the day after he got to the front, another guy tried shooting an AK at an APC and was killed immediately, a 10 man team was nearly wiped out - 8 killed and 2 crawled away. Your body will not be retrieved from the frontlines either. Slava Ukraini! Give me updoots! Authoritarian Right Authoritarian Right The Bombing of the Reddit Legionnaires Part of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine Yavoriv military base, host to the Reddit Legionnaires, seen after the bombing. Date 13 March 2022 Location Yavoriv, Ukraine Result Reddit Foreign Legion wiped out, Redditor realities checked, 4chan keks, Yavoriv military base destroyed, Over 9,000 solidarity upvotes on r/volunteersforukraine, Reddit Legionnaires flee to Poland Belligerents Russia Reddit 4chan E Globohomo Ukraine Commanders and leaders Vladimir Putin 6 u/spindokto Lucifer Volodymyr Zelenskyy Strength A few planes 6 1,000,000,000 Upvotes Casualties and losses Time * Sides 6 35-185 Redditors 35 rockets

While the veracity of spindokto's posts has been questioned, with some users assuming that they could be a part of Russia's information warfare,[12][13] the perceived impression that some foreign soldiers arriving in Ukraine from other countries are "out of their depth," further confirmed by publications in The Sun[14] and other news outlets, spawned multiple memes on social media.

Various Examples

RAW EGG NATIONALIST ... @Babygravy9 The Reddit battalions are now leaving their mark on the battlefield. Graham Phillips 11 4. @ By the road to Novosvetlovka, abandoned Ukrainian military positions, and a vibrator there. 12:26 PM · Mar 13, 2022 · Twitter Web App EnochPowellI ... @MogTheUrbanite No atheists in foxholes, once again. spindokto 3m Absolutely man, absolutely. I realized that when I was laying on the ground this morning praying to a god I don't believe in that the next one didn't have my name on it. You quickly realize the preciousness and desire of life compared to the meaninglessness of being hit by a a f------ Russian missile 4 Vote Q Reply + 11:33 PM · Mar 13, 2022 · Twitter Web App
marquis de posade 1 @acczibit "Yo what up dog it's me. Listen I know you're still mad about the thing with your sister's wedding and the thing with the bazaar next to your home, but I got a serious question about what to do when you're being bombed." tater UnHerd @unherd · Mar 14 A cruel but underreported reality of the Ukrainian war has been the unpreparedness of the Western veterans and serving soldiers fighting in Ukraine | @CDP1882 11:40 AM · Mar 14, 2022 · Twitter for Android BLACK LIVES MATTER Ukrainwarts thankyou for coming to save Ukrainwarts! Putin has the infinity gauntlet, he must be stopped! AnonymouS ID:ZvQM3EWm Sun 13 Mar 2022 11:03:51 No.366950511 Report Quoted By: >>366950729 >>366949620 >be a simple john from the state of colorado >read on reddit how the ukrainian tractor drivers with double-barreled guns destroy 100 russian tanks per minute, while the ruskieas are left without fuel and provisions and desert by the millions >urgently pack your tacticool airsoft stuff >while going to the airport, savor how you'll arrange a safari on the dirty russian conscripts with one mosin- nagant per ten soldiers >just like in iraq and afghanistan! >arrive at the ukraine >arrive at the headquarters of the "volunteers", hang out with other creditors, make epic tacticool photos with comments like "russian warship idi nahui! f--- putin!" >suddenly a kalibr flies into the window and kills your entire reddit meeting at the f------ spot >get your legs and ass torn off >the last thing you see is how the ukrainians change you into russian uniform and take pictures of you

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Top Comments


IIRC in this subreddit there is also a LOT of Russian counter-propaganda happening. As in Russians pretending to be volunteers talking about how miserable everything is. So another fog of war kind of deal.

For one the Foreign Legion officially only accepts people which can back up actual military experience. So not just having served but having served in combat zones like Iraq and Afghanistan.

But this subreddit makes it look like any idiot with a gun can just show up.


I swear, the reason this got so overblown to begin with is because it was posted on Reddit and people's minds immediately went to stereotype. People mistook "soldiers posting to Reddit" for "Redditors becoming soldiers".

So, 5 or 6 soldiers in this legion have posted to Reddit , found out that war is a lot more horrific than what they originally thought, airstrikes, worse equipment, worse preparation, and they get clowned on for it ? Because they're "Redditors" ? Because terminally online 4chan fucks think they did it for the memes / upvotes ? They're getting fucking bombed !

How come every "meme" coming out of this horrible war is more insufferable and edgier than the last ?


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