“Anybody in the West that asks Ukraine to just do peace talks, they need to go through these villages. They need to see what’s been done to these people,” said the man, who wants to be known only by his call sign, Elvis.
“This is nothing like any conflict in the past 70 to 80 years,” he told CBS News. “This war is not sustainable, for either side.”
Originally from Tennessee, Elvis fought in Ukraine because he was horrified by Russia’s war with the country. While there, he said he repeatedly witnessed Russian forces using white phosphorus munitions — something Russia previously denied.
“It comes down extremely slow, but there’s nothing you can do, and everything it touches just incinerates,” Elvis said, describing one incident where he witnessed between 20 and 30 Ukrainian fighters “burning alive” before some committed suicide to end their suffering.
“A lot of guys have suicide pistols, and you’d hear them scream, and then they would say goodbye and then blow their own heads off,” he said.
White phosphorus is a wax-like chemical substance that ignites instantly when it comes into contact with oxygen. Its primary function in weaponry is to burn brightly, and it is used in incendiary munitions by militaries around the world, including the United States, often to illuminate targets as part of tracer munitions at night.
But it can be extremely dangerous when used as a weapon, causing deep burns, even through bone.
“There are certain weapons that I’ve seen used on the battlefield in Ukraine that — okay, it’s war, I get it — but there’s certain weapons that are used that, if the rest of world could see what they cause, what that looks like when someone dies because of that, there would be a lot bigger outcry,” Elvis said.
The fighter said he has been traumatized by his experience on the battlefield, and that he’s worried one of his fellow fighters may commit suicide because of what they went through together.
But he believes Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion is a righteous war. And he wants more to be done to stop the conflict.
“If China invaded the U.S., hypothetically, leveled Los Angeles, leveled Seattle, Portland, massacred thousands, do you think the U.S. would just sue for peace? No,” he said.
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