Mozart Group

The Mozart Group (Ukrainian: Група Моцарт, Hrupa Motsart) is an American Wyoming registered Limited Liability Company (Task Force Sunflower is a 501c3 non-profit organization led by a team of former special operations leaders and non-profit professionals from the United States and the United Kingdom) operating in Ukraine during 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine providing Ukraine training, advise, assistance, equipment, humanitarian extraction and medical evacuation and casualty care.[1][2][3] The Mozart Group is composed of Western volunteers with military experience,[2] and provides military training, civilian evacuations and rescue, and humanitarian aid distribution.[1][2] It was founded in mid-March[1] by Andrew Milburn, a retired U.S. Marine colonel[2] Deputy Commander of Special Operations Command Central who also serves as the head of Mozart Group.[1][4]

The name of the group was chosen as a witty reference[2][1] and counterpoint[2] to the opposing Russian mercenary Wagner Group, both being named after German-speaking composers.[2][1] A rescued dog named Richie serves as the group's mascot.[1]

Overview

The Mozart Group is structured as a limited liability company registered in Wyoming, the United States.[5] Mozart Group is not directly involved in combat (other than self-defence), and is compliant with the US Neutrality Act which prohibits U.S. citizens from joining foreign militaries or launching wars against countries not at war with the U.S.[1] Milburn has said that Mozart Group has no contact with and receives no support from the U.S. government,[6] but that he wishes there was more contact with the U.S. government.[2]

Founding

The Mozart Group was founded in mid-March[1] by Andrew Milburn, a retired U.S. Marine colonel with over 31 years of service in the U.S. military.[2] Milburn had served in Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Milburn found some of the conflicts in which he served over his career morally ambiguous which left him disenchanted, and consequently felt a calling to help the Ukrainian cause which he found morally just. Milburn arrived in Ukraine in early March 2022 as a correspondent for the U.S. military publication Task & Purpose. After founding Mozart Group, he set up an office in Kyiv and began soliciting donations.[1] The group subsequently relocated from Kyiv to the Donbas.[2]

Personnel

As of August 2022, the Mozart Group consisted of 20-30 volunteers hailing from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, and other Western countries.[2] Members are mostly former special operations personnel.[1] Most members are Anglophone, and between 30 and 45 years in age.[7]

Mozart Group offers more flexible contracts than the Ukrainian Foreign Legion.[7] Prospective new members are carefully vetted.[2]

Mozart Group volunteers are forbidden from participating in combat and are to be immediately expelled if they do.[2]

Activities

The Mozart Group participates in various forms of training (including frontline training, nighttime training, recruit training and officer training, drone warfare training,[1] anti-tank missile training,[1] mine clearance training, and sniper training[2]), civilian evacuation and rescue, humanitarian aid distribution,[1] mine clearance,[2] and first aid.[7]

Financing

The Mozart Group is funded mostly by private U.S. donors.[2] Some of its biggest donors are hedge fund managers with Ukrainian ancestry. A humanitarian organisation has also provided financial support for the express purpose of assisting evacuations.[1]

The Mozart Group is not a Private Military Company (PMC).

History

The Mozart Group initially trained Kyiv's civil defence force as it defended the capital.[2]

See also

  • Wagner Group

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Gettleman, Jeffrey (2022-10-09). "An American in Ukraine Finds the War He's Been Searching For". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Mozart Group: the western ex-military personnel training Ukrainian recruits". the Guardian. 2022-08-05. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  3. ^ "The Mozart Group - Delivering critical capabilities to Ukrainian frontline units". 2019-09-09. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  4. ^ "Andy Milburn". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  5. ^ "The Mozart Group - Delivering critical capabilities to Ukrainian frontline units". 2019-09-09. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  6. ^ "Ukraine war: West's modern weapons halt Russia's advance in Donbas". BBC News. 2022-07-27. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  7. ^ a b c "In Ukraine, the Mozart Group marches to the beat of its own drum". Le Monde.fr. 2022-08-19. Retrieved 2022-10-26.

External links

  • Mozart Group Website
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