Russia issues arrest warrant for former Sami parliament member who joined Ukraine’s foreign legion

A former Sami parliament member faces 18 years in prison if convicted

Sandra Andersen Eira, a former member of an indigenous parliament in Norway, has found herself on Moscow’s wanted list for joining Kiev’s “international legion,” TASS reported citing a law enforcement source.

Eira came to Ukraine in March 2022 and first enlisted with an Anglo-American unit. She has since been reassigned to the Ukrainian Marines as a medic.

The arrest warrant was issued this week under Article 359, Section 3 of the Russian Criminal Code, “as part of a criminal investigation into the participation of a mercenary in an armed conflict,” the source told TASS.

The website of the Basmanny Court of Moscow was updated on Tuesday to reflect an outstanding warrant against Eira. The court has ordered her arrested for two months from the moment she is detained or extradited to Russian territory. If convicted, she faces up to 18 years in a penal colony.

@BorodaLubomir Thank you for all you do for the people, soldiers, animals. Who knew there was even a bird hospital? Met these Ukr friends through my former commander whom I respect and trust. A light of legitimacy in a world of schemes!

Eira was born in 1986 and is a member of the Sami ethnic minority that lives in the far north of Norway. She worked in the fishing industry in the Arctic prior to getting elected to the Sami parliament (Sametinget) from the constituency of Avjovarri in 2017. Her term ended in 2021.

We made it through the first chaotic months of filtration and messy new way of war. Staying clear of weasels and clownshows, we’re rockin it with a solid setup ✌️ our guy C is taking care of admin stuff with me, you can reach us for any inquiries

The Norwegian national was first identified as being in Ukraine’s service by the Washington Post in April 2022.

This life… it’s bizarre. The normal in the craziness.

In an interview with the Ukrainian publication New Voices in May that year, Eira said her unit was deployed north of Kiev and fought in Irpen and Bucha before getting sent south to Nikolaev. She also said she was the only female in the unit and all the Ukrainian soldiers treated her “like a queen.”

Another interview, dated January 2023, Eira revealed that she had fought in Soledar and Artyomovsk (known in Ukraine as Bakhmut) but left before the towns were taken by Russian forces. Being a combat medic was her childhood dream, but she always assumed it was going to be in the Middle East, she said at the time. 

“I did not expect a war with Russia, but here we are,” she said.