Foreign soldiers arrive in Ukraine to fight, just not officially.

More and more foreign fighters from the European Union, The United States, ex-Soviet countries, Canada, Japan and other places are traveling to Ukraine to fight against the Russians. This comes after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his office asked foreigners to join the Ukrainian resistance.

Officially, no countries are sending troops to Ukraine to fight against Russia. But many people from all over the world have taken this war as a personal mission to defend Ukraine. Some are mercenaries, some think a war is inevitable while others are disappointed in their own government’s response to the invasion. The minister of foreign affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, stated on Twitter: “I invite you to contact foreign diplomatic missions of Ukraine in your respective countries. Together we defeated Hitler, and we will defeat Putin, too”. Even a Canadian comedian, Anthony Walker, joined the country and posted on Twitter that they needed: “foldable chairs, sleeping bags , blankets , hats, gloves, hand warmers, vehicles from Poland to pick up refugees and translators”. Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Defense, Hanna Maliar, stated on Facebook that thousands of people had come forward since Zelensky’s appeal. 

Screenshot from Hanna Maliar’s, deputy minister of Defense of Ukraine, Facebook.

It is estimated that since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, 16.000 foreigners traveled to Ukraine to join a foreign legion and fight, this is reported by Firstpost. As Russia now invades the whole Ukrainian country, the rate at which foreigners are leaving for the war is increasing. It is not yet known how high these numbers go but some governments are already giving their blessings to these fighters like Latvia and Denmark. In the U.K., Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that she would “absolutely” support Britons leaving for Ukraine while British defense secretary, Ben Wallace, said people with no war experience shouldn’t go and that there are other ways to help.

Even small countries, like Belgium, see people leaving for the conflict. Reported by DeMorgen, 70 Belgians volunteered to leave for Ukraine with probably more to follow.

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