Volunteers from 52 countries have joined the International Legion of Defense of Ukraine, which was created in response to the invasion by the Russian Federation.
““Anyone who wants to join the defense of security in Europe and the world can come and stand side by side with the Ukrainians against the invaders of the 21st century,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who created the international legion consisting of foreign citizens who want to join the resistance against the Russian invaders.
Zelensky said the volunteer combatants from all over the world are waging a fight for global security.
“When you see bombs and rockets falling on Ukrainian cities every day, destroying hospitals, schools, houses, it’s hard to imagine, it looks like madness. You see what’s happening and there seems to be nothing you can do. When the creation of the International Legion started, I immediately realized that I had to join,” said Damien Magrou, a volunteer fighter from Norway who was among the first to enlist in the unit.
Anyone interested in joining is directed to apply to the Embassy of Ukraine in your country with the intention to join the International Legion of Defence of Ukraine.
Some Western governments are giving tacit or explicit permission to citizens to help Ukraine defend itself while Asian governments are ordering citizens not to enter the fight; and Russian and Belarusian authorities denounce those who are fighting on Ukraine’s side and threaten them with severe reprisals.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry estimated on March 6 that “almost 20,000 … experienced [military] veterans and volunteers” had applied to join its International Legion of Defense of Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials have not said how many of those applicants are in the country, but its defense ministry said those who had arrived by March 11 were from more than 50 countries.
Alexis Antilla, an American described the moment when the Ukrainian army showed up after her vehicle hit a land mine.
“We were rolling. We’re going to a village. We were going to be setting up across from the Russians and everything like that,” said Antilla. “We rolled over a landmine, vehicle went up in the air, we came down, we all hopped out, picked up security and then the Ukrainian army showed up, helped us out of there and got us Medevaced to here.”
Antilla said she felt “a calling” to join in the defense of Ukraine.