Over 3000 Americans have officially applied to join the Ukrainian army to fight Russian troops, according to a defense official at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington, D.C.
The official told The Military Times, that hundreds have already arrived in Ukraine, and that thousands more from across the world have applied to join what Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dubbed “The International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.”
According to the official there have been approximately 16,000 applications accepted thus far from people worldwide.
The Military Times report notes that “One Reddit page for those volunteering to fight for Ukraine has more than 32,000 members,” adding that “While the forums do have people claiming to be combat veterans, many seem to be young people who have never seen combat or even picked up a gun, heading to Ukraine in search of adventure in the name of a good cause.”
Speaking to the Times, one former Navy Seal warned those seeking to fight that “You aren’t Rambo,” adding that the Ukrainian forces “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.”
The development comes as Russia warned Sunday that any country aiding Ukraine’s military may be considered as entering the war as an enemy.
The Russian Defense Ministry stressed that if neighbouring countries host Ukrainian fighter jets it “could be considered as those countries’ engagement in the military conflict.”
Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov noted that Ukrainian combat planes have been redeployed to Romania, a NATO member state, and other unnamed countries bordering Ukraine, one of which is most likely Poland, which is working closely with the U.S.
Konashenkov stated “We know for sure that Ukrainian combat aircraft have flown to Romania and other neighbouring countries.”
He added “The use of the airfield network of these countries for basing Ukrainian military aviation with the subsequent use of force against Russia’s army can be regarded as the involvement of these states in an armed conflict.”
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