Dutch soldier in Ukraine part of new intelligence gathering unit: report
The Dutch soldier who is active in Ukraine, according to leaked documents from the United States government, is gathering intelligence in the country, sources told the Telegraaf. He belongs to the newly created 102 company of the Commando Corps and the Marine Corps focused on gathering intelligence abroad, according to the newspaper.
The Dutch armed forces recently established the 102 Company as a special reconnaissance unit abroad. One of the unit’s goals was to “strengthen special operations forces,” the Ministry of Defense said in December about the establishment of 102. The 102 Company could start deploying forces on 1 January 2023 “with all the necessary qualifications, resources, and facilities.”
According to the Telegraaf’s sources, the Duch elite soldier is not fighting in Ukraine but is acting as a liaison officer and collecting intelligence. That is in line with the work for which Defense set up the 102 Company - secretly gathering intelligence in areas where there is a threat or a conflict. “Members are trained to blend in with their surroundings and to make local contacts and arrange materials as unobtrusively as possible,” according to the Telegraaf.
The Netherlands committed to documenting war crimes committed in Ukraine for the eventual prosecution of perpetrators, with the Dutch parliament pledging support for a motion calling for a war crimes tribunal to be established in The Hague. The Netherlands sent Koninklijke Marechaussee officers to Ukraine to help investigate war crimes in May last year and sent another team of forensic experts in October. It is not clear whether the Dutch soldier currently in Ukraine is gathering intelligence to further this goal.
The Ministry of Defense would not comment to the Telegraaf about the soldier or his actions in Ukraine.