‘Come and Fight’: Ukraine President Zelenskyy Asks for Foreign Volunteers

February 27, 2022Marty Skovlund Jr.
foreign volunteers

A volunteer, holding a rifle, protects a main road leading into Kyiv on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. Photo by Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images.

Ukraine and Russia have agreed to peace talks set to take place on the border with Belarus, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has put his nuclear deterrent forces on alert. The war between Russian invaders and Ukrainians defending their country continues as the fourth day of fighting comes to a close.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has emerged as an inspirational leader for a nation in crisis, is asking for foreign volunteers to help repel the Russian military.

Zelenskyy Ukraine foreign volunteers
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy meets with servicemen while visiting the Donetsk region on Dec. 6, 2019. Photo by Evgeniya Maksymova/AFP via Getty Images.

“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,” Zelenskyy said in a statement released on the president’s website Sunday, Feb. 27.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba echoed the sentiment and provided more specific instructions for volunteers via his Twitter account while comparing Putin to Hitler: “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.”

Hostilities between Ukraine and Russia have been ongoing since 2014, and foreign volunteers are not a new concept in that fight. Nearly 4,000 foreign fighters have joined Ukraine’s military ranks as volunteers for irregular militias and the regular armed forces, according to a June 2019 study by The Soufan Center, an American defense research firm.

Coffee or Die Magazine previously reported on Ukraine’s use of foreign fighters, and their formal legalization in October 2015. On Dec. 14, 2021, anticipating an escalation of hostilities, Ukraine’s parliament passed a law simplifying the citizenship application process for foreigners who served in Ukraine’s military.

At the time of this report, heavy fighting continues across Ukraine. Kyiv has not fallen.

Read Next: Foreign Fighters Vow To Support Ukraine Against Russian Invasion

Marty Skovlund Jr.
Marty Skovlund Jr.

Marty Skovlund Jr. was the executive editor of Coffee or Die. As a journalist, Marty has covered the Standing Rock protest in North Dakota, embedded with American special operation forces in Afghanistan, and broken stories about the first females to make it through infantry training and Ranger selection. He has also published two books, appeared as a co-host on History Channel’s JFK Declassified, and produced multiple award-winning independent films.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

Ouija Board aircraft carrier
Low-Tech ‘Ouija Boards’ Have Helped Aircraft Carriers Operate for Decades

Since the 1920s, a low-tech tabletop replica of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck has been an essential tool in coordinating air operations.

Army vs. Navy mascot
The Navy Goat vs. the Army Mule: Mascot Origin Stories

For nearly as long as the Army-Navy football rivalry, the academies’ hoofed mascots have stared each other down from the sidelines. Here are their stories.

ukraine long-range weapon
Zelenskyy Says Ukraine Has Developed a Long-Range Weapon, a Day After Strike Deep Inside Russia

Zelenskyy said on his Telegram channel the weapon was produced by Ukraine’s Ministry of Strategic Industries but gave no other details.

7 of the Best Movie Ambush Scenes of All Time

Ambushes make for great action scenes. Here are seven of the best to ever grace the big screen.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, with his daughter, center right, reportedly named Ju Ae, review the honor guard during their visit to the navy headquarter in North Korea
North Korea Launches Missile Toward Sea After US Flies Bomber During Drills

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the launch occurred Wednesday but gave no further details, such as how far the missile flew.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved