2 Indian Navy veterans enlist to join Ukrainian International Legion against Russia


A growing number of army veterans are preparing to join Ukrainian forces in their battle against Russian military forces.

India is the latest to respond to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request after veterans from the UK, US, Canada and Japan signed up to join forces in Ukraine against the Russian invasion.

A few days after the invasion and the president’s request for volunteers to form an international legion against Russia, at the latest, two Indian navy veterans asked to join the Ukrainian forces.

The Indian Navy veterans, while speaking with the News9 broadcast channel, confirmed that they submitted a formal request to the Ukrainian Defense Attaché in New Delhi last week.

While the two veterans’ applications have been accepted along with passport and Indian Navy service details, the Ukrainian government has yet to make a final decision on their official membership.

Zelenskyy has called in recent days for an “international legion” of volunteers, and many civilians from other countries.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had shared his sentiment last week, encouraging volunteers to come to the country to fight Russia, while pointing to German occupation during World War II.

“I am an engineer, submariner with 23 years of experience in mechanical systems. I am volunteering to immediately join Ukraine’s territorial defense effort,” reads an app viewed by News9. .

When asked why he was so determined to join the Ukrainian forces, he replied: “80% of our defense equipment comes from Russia. I have been to Russia four times and served there for almost two years. We love their vodka. Russians. But what they are doing is not right.”

“It’s politically correct to say we don’t want to do anything about it. There’s no point in lighting candles and holding signs,” the Navy veteran told News9.

According to media reports, Ukraine first appealed for foreign support on February 27, as it anticipated the need for manpower to fight the Russian offensive. Reports say Ukraine’s Defense Ministry received thousands of entries within a day of launching the initiative last month.

Reports also claimed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expected 16,000 foreign volunteers to join them.

Indian Navy veterans keen to join the Ukrainian forces arrive on the day a 21-year-old Indian national from Tamil Nadu joined the Georgian National Legion.

According to a report by Times of India, Sainikhesh Ravichandran (21) had been rejected twice by the Indian army because of his height before enrolling in a course at the National Aerospace University in Kharkiv in 2018. According to the intelligence reports, he is now part of the Georgian National Legion paramilitary unit made up of volunteers.

(with source inputs)

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Posted: Tuesday, March 8, 2022, 4:39 PM IST

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