17:32 Nov. 2, 2016
Meet Valter Nebiolo and Giuseppe Donini, Italian volunteers who fight for Ukraine in Donbas
While European officials are in debates over the political settlement of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, their kinsmen are fighting off the Kremlin's aggression in trenches in the Donbas warzone.
Giuseppe Donini and Valter Nebiolo took up arms and came to Ukraine two years ago, after pro-Russian separatists took control of two major industrial cities, Donetsk and Luhansk.
‘I try to do my best to keep invaders far from my Europe', Donini explained why he'd decided to join the Ukrainian army.
Donini, 48, and Nebiolo, 55, are enlisted in the volunteer battalion Donbas-Ukraine, which is a part of the country's Defense Ministry.
The Italians have seen their fair share of combat before. Both were soldiers of the Italian armed forces, they also were employed by private military companies in South Africa, Sudan and the Middle East. Both served as maritime anti-piracy safety and vessel protection specialists.
‘We are volunteers (in Ukraine – UT), one hundred percent. Our pay is the food we get', Nebiolo says.
In Ukraine, they often have to fight against other Europeans, their countrymen, who decided to join the Russian-backed forces for their own reasons.
Donini says, his good friend is, in fact, fighting against him alongside the militants.
Read also: How two Italians defend Europe in Ukraine