The information was revealed by the German Interior Ministry following a request from the Left Party, according to RND
At least 26 known German right-wing extremists have left for Ukraine since Russia launched its military offensive against the country in late February, RND news outlet reported, citing government figures.
According to an article published on Saturday, the number was revealed by the country’s interior ministry at the request of the left-wing party faction in the German parliament. Journalists claim to have seen the response from officials.
German authorities have credible information that less than ten of the 26 people have traveled to the Eastern European country to take part in fighting, the newspaper said.
“With about half of known right-wing extremists there are hints that they left with the intention of providing humanitarian aid,“said the ministry, quoted by RND.
Several other of these German citizens would have gone to Ukraine as journalists, the outlet added.
Commenting on the revelation, Martina Renner, member of the Bundestag for the Left Party, said that the “real numberof German right-wing extremists in Ukraine is likely to be higher than the official figure.
Speaking to the RND, the MP warned that “there is a danger to public safety in Germany if neo-Nazis with combat experience and possibly arms and ammunition return from Ukraine.”
She also called on the German authorities to pay special attention to “right-wing extremists disguised as journalists,because they could engage in misinformation campaigns.
Since late February, when Russia launched its military offensive against its neighbor, thousands of volunteers from dozens of countries have joined the Ukrainian army.
Russia describes these individuals as mercenaries who, if captured, cannot hope to benefit from the protection guaranteed to prisoners of war by the Geneva Convention.
The country’s defense ministry also regularly reports the deaths of foreign fighters in its strikes.
To date, however, only the identities of a handful of foreign fighters killed in Ukraine are known, and include British and American nationals.
Last June, a court in the Donetsk People’s Republic sentenced to death two Britons and a Moroccan who had fought alongside Ukrainian troops.
Several other foreign fighters are awaiting trial in the Donbass republic.