A team of 10 special forces veterans, including six Americans, is taking up Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on his offer to join in the military battle against Russia, according to a new report.
The group, which also includes three members from the United Kingdom and one from Germany, are NATO-trained and experienced in combat.
“They want to be among the first to officially join the new International Legion of the Territorial Defense of Ukraine that Zelensky announced Sunday,” according to text messages reviewed by BuzzFeed News.
“Two former American infantry officers are also making plans to come to Ukraine to provide ‘leadership’ for the group,” the report added.
The news comes as Ukraine announced the creation of an International Legion of Territorial Defense that will allow non-citizens of Ukraine to join the effort.
“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 in a statement.
“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,” he added.
During a Saturday briefing with the media, Zelensky invited “every friend of Ukraine” to join.
“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.
“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,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba added on Twitter on Saturday.
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. Together we defeated Hitler, and we will defeat Putin, too.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 27, 2022
While Zelensky likely expected most of his foreign support to come from neighboring European nations, some Americans have reportedly shown interest in helping with Ukraine’s defense.
Newsweek reported, “Many veterans contacted the Military Times news service, asking how they can join the fight.”
The International Legion of Territorial Defense requires the following steps for participation:
Step 1. Contact the Embassy of Ukraine in your country with the intention to join the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.
Step 2. Get briefed on what documents and gear (equipment) you will require.
Step 3. Report to the embassy with a package of documents for an interview with a defense attaché and for visa clearance – with a consul.
Step 4. Write an application for admission to the territorial defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for contracted military service on a voluntary basis (defense attaché provides assistance).
Step 5. Get instructions on how to arrive in Ukraine, the documents and equipment required.
Step 6. Cross into Ukraine in a designated manner.
Step 7. Upon arrival at the assembly point in Ukraine, join the Foreign Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine (sign a contract) and together with soldiers from other countries and Ukrainian soldiers join the fight against Russian invaders.