RFK grandson Conor Kennedy reveals he secretly fought on frontline in Ukraine

‘I was also willing to die there. So they soon agreed to send me to the northeastern front’

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Thursday 20 October 2022 20:14 BST
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Conor Kennedy, grandson of Robert F Kennedy, has revealed on Instagram that he secretly fought in Ukraine earlier this year against the Russian invasion.

The 28-year-old said he was “moved” to enlist, despite having no military experience, and joined the Ukrainian International Legion.

Kennedy, who once briefly dated Taylor Swift, did not disclose when he fought nor how long he was in Ukraine.

“I wanted to help. When I heard about Ukraine’s International Legion, I knew I was going, and I went to the embassy to enlist the next day,” he wrote in a lengthy post on Instagram accompanied by a photo of a friend named Nick in military garb.

“I told one person here where I was, and I told one person there my real name. I didn’t want my family or friends to worry, and I didn’t want to be treated differently there.”

Kennedy admitted he was not a great shot, but could carry heavy things and learned fast.

“I was also willing to die there. So they soon agreed to send me to the northeastern front.”

He wrote that his time in Ukraine was not long but he saw and felt a lot.

“I liked being a soldier, more than I had expected. It is scary. But life is simple, and the rewards for finding courage and doing good are substantial,” he said.

“My friends there know why I had to come home. l’ll always owe them for their example. I know I’m lucky I made it back, but I would also take all the risks we took over again.”

Of the war and his fellow fighters, Kennedy wrote: “This war, like all others, is horrific. The people I met were the bravest I have ever known. My fellow legionnaires — who came from different countries, backgrounds, ideologies — are true freedom fighters.”

He added: “As are the citizens I knew, many of whom have lost everything in their long struggle against oligarchy, and toward a democratic system. They know this isn’t a war between equals, it’s a revolution.”

In his post, Kennedy urged others to help in their own ways: “This war will shape the fate of democracy in this century. There’s more to say about its politics and the role of western governments there. For now, I’ll only urge you to help in your personal capacity. Join the legion, help on the border, or send medical supplies.”

He concluded: “Every day, someone there sacrifices everything for a lasting peace. They can’t be asked to act alone.”

Kennedy is the son of Robert F Kennedy Jr, most recently in the public eye for his staunch opposition to Covid-19 vaccines and mitigation measures, and Mary Richardson Kennedy, who died by suicide in 2012.

His sister Kyra replied to the post: “I love you, big brother.”

Kennedy’s girlfriend, Brazilian singer-songwriter Giulia Be, wrote: “You’re the bravest man I’ve ever known, my love… being away from you and worrying for all those months was incredibly hard, but we kept our faith all the way through, and i just want to tell you [once more] how proud I am.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky created the International Legion of Ukraine in the early stages of the war.

It consists of foreign citizens wishing to join the resistance against the Russian invasion and fight for global security.

Initially, combat experience was not required, but that has since been amended. Those who wish to join the fight can apply at Ukrainian embassies around the world.

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