What Is Former Far-Right Legislator Matt Shea Doing With Dozens Of Ukrainian Kids In Poland?

March 18, 2022

We’re in day 2 of our reporting on Matt Shea’s adventures in Ukraine and Poland: The far-right former state legislator from Washington traveled to the region, he says, because he wanted to take part in the evacuation of several dozen children — 62 or 63, accounts vary — from an orphanage in Mariupol, Ukraine, which has been under heavy Russian attack for days. 

The “rescue action” itself happened earlier this month, and it’s not clear how involved Shea actually was: A right-wing Polish group that’s working with him wrote that the children “met their American rescuers after a 16-hour long train journey.” 

Polish locals, realizing who Shea was, were concerned: The former state legislator has been formally accused of domestic terrorism for his involvement with the Malheur National Wildlife refuge standoff, and he’s known for his unique blend of fundamental Christianity, militarism, and support for the separatist 51st state movement known as “Liberty State.” 

What’s Shea doing with 60-some Ukrainian kids in Poland? Here’s what we know so far:

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