Foreign volunteers get Ukrainian citizenship in fight against Russia, Ukraine says

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Foreign volunteers who join Ukrainian forces in the fight against Russia will be granted citizenship by the Ukrainian government if they want, a Ukrainian government official said.

Supporters who travel to Ukraine and enlist into the volunteer force will receive a military card from the state’s Border Guard service and, in the future, the volunteers will be among a group of foreign nationals who are qualified to seek citizenship, First Deputy Interior Minister Yevhen Yenin said, Ukrinform reported.

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Last month, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced he was forming an “international brigade” of volunteers to join him in the fight against Russia.

The announcement came in tandem with vocal frustrations about the international community and their apparent lack of help.

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Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba clarified that the fighting force will “defend Ukraine and world order as part of the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.”

Since the Feb. 27 announcement, over 20,000 volunteers from 52 countries have signed up to fight in Ukraine, Kuleba said Sunday, Time reported.

Servicemen stand next to the coffin with the body of Col.  Vladimir Zhoga, commander of a reconnaissance battalion of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People Republic, during a farewell ceremony in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Monday, March 7, 2022.

Servicemen stand next to the coffin with the body of Col. Vladimir Zhoga, commander of a reconnaissance battalion of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People Republic, during a farewell ceremony in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Monday, March 7, 2022.
(AP Photo)

The fighters have joined from European countries, including Poland, Denmark, and Latvia, whose governments have enabled their citizens to more easily join the fighting.

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Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen encouraged citizens to join the fighting during a press conference on Feb. 27. Frederiksen called it “a choice anyone could make,” Time reported.

Ukrainian soldiers take positions outside a military facility as two cars burn, in a street in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb.  26, 2022.

Ukrainian soldiers take positions outside a military facility as two cars burn, in a street in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.
(AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti)

On Feb. 28, the Latvian government similarly encouraged its citizenry to get involved.

“Our citizens who want to support Ukraine and volunteer to serve there to defend Ukraine’s independence and our common security must be able to do so,” said Latvian MP Juris Rancanis, according to the report.

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