What Foreign Fighters Are Seeing in Ukraine

Ukraine’s Three-to-One Advantage
It’s not technology or tactics that have given Ukrainian fighters their greatest edge.

Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times / Getty

A few nights ago in Lviv, after an early dinner (restaurants shut at 8 p.m. because of curfew), I stepped into the elevator of my hotel. I was chatting with a colleague when a man in early middle age, dressed and equipped like a backpacker, thrust his hand into the closing door. “You guys American?” he asked. I told him we were, and as he reached for the elevator button, I couldn’t help but notice his dirty hands and the half-moons of filth beneath each fingernail. I also noticed his fleece. It had an eagle, a globe, and an anchor embossed on its left breast. “You a Marine?” I asked. He said he was (or had been—once a Marine, always a Marine), and I told him that I’d served in the Marines too.


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