Ukraine’s ‘International Legion’ no longer wants foreign recruits to fight Russia, a spokesman told Canada’s National Post on Friday. Despite Kiev once welcoming Western recruits with open arms, he has now revealed that supplies are low, and inexperienced volunteers aren’t ready for combat. Volunteers who’ve already made the journey have told horror stories of being sent to the front lines unarmed and untrained. Following the Russian offensive, videos emerged online of people claiming they joined the fight against Moscow’s forces, but were given no ammo or weapons by the Ukrainian side.
Within days of Russia’s military assault on Ukraine, the government in Kiev promised visa-free entry for foreigners willing to take up arms against Moscow’s forces. Potential recruits visited Ukrainian embassies across the west and signed up to fight – often with the blessing of their own governments – and made their way to the battlefield.
However, the Ukrainian military was soon forced to be more selective about who could join its ‘International Legion’. Recruitment was narrowed last month to those with “live combat experience,” and a ‘legion’ spokesman told the National Post on Friday that enlistment had been paused entirely.
“There are multiple reasons (for halting recruiting) with one of them being the lack of firearms,” the spokesman said. Borys Wrzesnewskyj, a former MP from Canada who had been helping the ‘legion’ screen applicants, told the newspaper that inexperienced recruits were of no use on the front lines.