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Over 3,000 Americans Have Applied to Fight for the Ukrainian Military


Over 3,000 Americans have voluntarily signed up to join the Ukrainian military to help fight against Russia.

A defense official at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington, D.C., stated that several hundred have already arrived.

As reported by the Military Times:

A defense official at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington, D.C., told Military Times that they have already received more than 3,000 applications for U.S. citizens wanting to fight. That figure, he said, includes many military veterans. He could not say how many.

Ukrainian officials spoke to Military Times on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plans.

On Sunday, Military Times reported that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy created “The International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian official told Military Times the volunteer campaign is a new effort to bolster the fight against the Russians.

A notable number of veterans have contacted Military Times, saying they are planning on traveling to Ukraine to fight or wish to join the fight.

There’s also been discussion in online forums for volunteers to fight on behalf of Ukraine.

Military Times noted:

One Reddit page for those volunteering to fight for Ukraine has more than 32,000 members according to the site.

But enthusiasm isn’t the only thing Ukrainian officials desire in their volunteers.

The Ukrainian government wants individuals with combat experience, Business Insider reported:

While there seems to be a high level of enthusiasm, Ukrainian officials told Military Times they’re looking for volunteers with combat experience who would require little training. To join the newly formed International Legion, volunteers must have “documents confirming military service or work with law enforcement agencies and participation in combat.”

“We do not want to send people who are not trained, but at the same time, people can provide medical help. Or some can analyze mass media if they do not wish to fight,” the embassy official told Military Times.

Joining the International Legion is legal for Americans in most circumstances. “A person’s service in the armed forces of a foreign country may not constitute a violation of U.S. law,” according to US State Department webpage on foreign military service.

However, if “someone has been recruited or hired in the United States,” that could be a violation of the law. Ukrainian officials say they are not hiring anyone and are only opening the door for volunteers that wish to help.

Thus far, 16,000 foreign volunteers are reportedly on their way to Ukraine to help fight against the Russians.

While some veterans expressed enthusiasm for the volunteer effort, others issued warnings about the realities of fighting in a war for a foreign nation.

A former Navy SEAL turned CIA officer penned advice on Sandboxx for veterans wanting to volunteer to fight on the battlefield for Ukraine.

Secondly, if you are determined to go, be professional, responsible, and realistic in your expectations. Follow the Ukrainian government’s advice about how to officially register, and do not go there telling them where and how you want to participate in the fighting.

They will place you in whatever capacity they need you, and wherever they need you most. You are not Rambo, there to single-handedly slay Russians and post your selfies. You will be part of a military machine that is under extreme stress, and you need to seamlessly integrate into that system to be an effective part of it.

Now, if you do not take the official Ukrainian-provided route via registering with the Ukrainian embassy, and you choose to go in on your own, then you are exposing yourself to much more risk and need to therefore exercise much more caution. I do not advise you take this route unless you have significant training and/or experience in working with foreign governments and militaries, intelligence liaison work, or on-the-ground covert action.


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