Volunteers from 16 countries are coming to join Ukraine’s foreign legion, Foreign Minister Kuleba said at an online briefing on March 2 without specifying from which countries.
The unit is officially called the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine. They are “already coming to Ukraine who are ready to fight shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainian people against the aggressor,” Kuleba was quoted as saying by Kyivpost.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a statement, “Ukraine is already meeting foreign volunteers who are going to our country. The first of sixteen thousand. They are going to defend freedom. Defend life. For us. For all. And it will be successful. I’m sure.”
Legion members have started ariving in Ukraine. A Finnish reservist lieutenant posted a selfie on Twitter donned in Ukrainian uniform. “People from all over the world have come here to help to defend Ukraine. My bunkmates are Norwegian and American. There is still plenty of room for more!” he said in his post.
The formation of the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine comes days after President Zelenskyy made a fervant appeal to foreign individuals join in the defense of Ukraine.
Ukraine has outlined steps for foreigners wishing to join the international legion:
- Apply to the Embassy of Ukraine in your country with the intention of joining the Foreign Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine Applicants can visit the Embassy in person, call or send an email to start the process.
- Arrive at the embassy with documents for an interview with the defense attaché and the settlement of any visa issues with the consul.
- Write an application for enlistment in the Territorial Defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for military service under a contract on a voluntary basis.
- Receive instructions on how to arrive in Ukraine and what to bring. Military clothing, equipment, helmet, body armor, combat gloves, tactical glasses, belts and vests are recommended.
- It is not specified how the volunteer force will be organized and what weapons will be provided to them.