Indians volunteer to fight in Ukraine’s International Legion

Ukraine's English-language media outlet said volunteers from different countries, including India, had joined ground forces to defend Ukraine against Russia.

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Early this morning, Ukraine’s national daily newspaper The Kyiv Independent tweeted that many foreigners had already come forward to fight Russia as part of Ukraine’s International Legion.

Posted along with a picture of a group of volunteers, Ukrainian ground forces said that the volunteers came from the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Lithuania, Mexico, and India.

There are no reports or information available about the identities of these Indians or where they are from.

President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy had announced on multiple occasions that Ukraine welcomes foreigners who want to join Ukrainian forces fighting Russian troops since their invasion began on February 24.

He signed a decree introducing visa-free entrance to Ukraine for foreign volunteers which came into effect on March 1.

The Ukrainian government has banned men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country, asking them to serve with the armed forces in the war against Russia.

On March 6, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister revealed in a television address that about 20,000 people from 52 countries had already volunteered to fight in Ukraine, to serve in a newly created international legion.

‘The whole world today is on Ukraine’s side not only in words but in deeds,” Dmytro Kuleba said.

The Facebook page for Ukraine’s General Staff of Armed Forces posted a message calling for volunteer fighters last week.

‘If you want to actively participate in fighting for freedom and democracy.

‘If you have combat experience or want to gain it standing with brave Ukrainian defenders. THIS IS TIME TO ACT!’

The Facebook post on Ukraine's Armed Forces page. (Image: Facebook)
The Facebook post on Ukraine’s Armed Forces page. (Image: Facebook)

Indians still stuck in Ukraine

Beleaguered Indian citizens in the south-eastern Ukrainian Mariupol area, particularly Sumy, are said to be still stuck and unable to escape safety from an intensifying war, with Russia and Ukraine continuing to disagree on a humanitarian corridor for civilians out of the conflict zone. There are around 700 Indians living in Sumy.

About half the people sleeping in underground shelters without food, water, power and heating in Mariupol were supposed to be evacuated on Sunday, but the ceasefire arrangement collapsed.

The news agency Reuters said Moscow “would let residents of Ukraine’s two main cities (Kiev and Kharkiv) flee in corridors to Russia and Belarus”. Ukraine called this ‘an immoral stunt’.

Ukrainians interviewed by BBC at Ukrainian railway stations about to board trains to western Ukraine and beyond to European Union countries said they wouldn’t go to either Russia or Belarus.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Monday, that Russia would cease its military action in Ukraine if the latter stopped fighting, amended its constitution to declare neutrality, recognised Crimea as Russian territory and the pro-Russian Ukrainian rebel regions of Donensk and Lugansk as independent.

Compiled from various reports

READ ALSO: India issues safety advisory for stranded nationals in Ukraine

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