At least six Americans have volunteered to fight the Russians alongside Ukraine, BuzzFeed News reported Sunday, and are staging in Poland for preparation to cross into Ukraine.
What’s a brief history here?
Over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on anyone willing to help to join his country’s military in battle.
“Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals,” Zelensky said on Saturday. “A separate subdivision is being formed of foreigners entitled the International Legion for the Territorial Defense of Ukraine. There is no greater contribution which you can make for the sake of peace.”
What are the details?
A team of 10 special forces veterans — made up of six Americans, three U.K. citizens, and a German — has stepped up and volunteered to join Ukraine’s military to battle against Russia. All members of the group are said to have been NATO-trained and are experienced combat veterans with backgrounds in counterterrorism.
“They want to be among the first to officially join the new International Legion of the Territorial Defense of Ukraine that Zelensky announced Sunday,” text messages obtained by the outlet read.
The outlet added that two former American infantry officers “are also making plans to come to Ukraine to provide ‘leadership’ for the group.”
Zelenskyy in his Saturday remarks said that any “friend of Ukraine” is invited to join the fight.
“Every friend of Ukraine who wants to join Ukraine in defending the country, please come over. We will give you weapons. It will be announced very shortly, how this can be done. Everyone who is defending Ukraine is a hero,” he said.
Zelenskyy added, “This is the beginning of a war against Europe, against European structures, against democracy, against basic human rights, against a global order of law, rules, and peaceful coexistence. Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe, and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba added, “Foreigners willing to defend Ukraine and world order as part of the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine, I invite you to contact foreign diplomatic missions of Ukraine in your respective countries.”
What else is there to know about this?
On Sunday, Newsweek reported that many U.S. veterans have reached out in various ways to offer up their services to their Ukrainian brothers.
“Here are six things needed before veterans and everyday Americans can join the fight in Ukraine,” the outlet reported.
Contact the Ukrainian embassy in Washington, D.C., to let them know your intentions to join the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine. If you can’t visit the embassy in person, then you can call or email. Here is the contact information for the U.S. embassy. Here’s the list of international embassies for Ukraine.
Gather important documents. These include an ID, passport to travel internationally, any military service records, work with law enforcement agencies, or combat history.
Bring documents to the interview. These are necessary for all in-person interviews.
Write an application for enlistment. This is for an enlistment in the Ukrainian campaign against Russia. This serves as an addendum to the first step.
Get your instructions on how to get to Ukraine and what to bring. Recommended items would include: Military clothing, helmet, body armor, vests, belts, and equipment like combat gloves, tactical glasses, and more.
Be organized. Ukrainian officials and consuls will help guide you into the country. Contacts for them would be provided at the embassy, whether it’s in Washington or whatever country you’re applying from. Here’s the full list of Ukrainian embassies and consulates.