An explosion in an apartment building that came under fire from a Russian army tank in Mariupol, Ukraine, Friday, March 11, 2022. Ukraine’s military says Russian forces have captured the eastern outskirts of the besieged city of Mariupol. In a Facebook update Saturday, the military said the capture of Mariupol and Severodonetsk in the east were a priority for Russian forces. Mariupol has been under siege for over a week, with no electricity, gas or water. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Rishard Khan

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The Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, Dr Amery Browne, has sought further information on a Trinidad national departing to help defend Ukraine during Russia’s invasion. However, the Minister is not encouraging others to take inspiration and follow suit.

In a press conference on Monday, Dr Browne said he is not encouraged by information coming to him on the matter. He also noted there were several previous instances of T&T nationals departing to be mercenaries in foreign conflicts which turned into an “international conundrum” for them.

“What I saw was very disturbing for me, cast against the backdrop that we have nationals of this country in the past who went overseas as mercenaries to fight wars in other jurisdictions and that is currently an international conundrum and nightmare for some these individuals and the host countries,” he said.

“I don’t want to say too much more on this topic. I certainly will not be saying anything to encourage that type of…potential grandstanding but all I can do is sound a note of caution for the good sense, the welfare and the physical well-being of all our nationals and encourage persons not to take bad example from those who might wish to be wreckless, who might wish to be on some sort of populist agenda which could put themselves and even our national reputation in jeopardy.”

United National Congress activist and business development consultant Brian Stone is one of the country’s first volunteer combatants departing for Europe in two weeks to help defend Ukraine. A dual citizen, Stone previously served in the Canadian armed forces reserves.