Ukraine goes visa-free for foreign fighters
Foreigners who wish to travel to Ukraine and join the International Legion to fight against Russia can do so without a visa starting from March 1, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Monday amid the ongoing military offensive launched by Moscow.
Zelensky’s Order 82 establishes a visa-free regime for the duration of the current state of emergency, and instructs the Ukrainian government to begin its implementation immediately.
The only exception is made for citizens of the “aggressor state,” meaning that any Russian nationals who’d like to take Kiev’s side in the conflict are not welcome.
The Ukrainian president announced the establishment of the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine – a separate unit composed entirely of foreign volunteers – on Sunday, in a speech in which he called the Russian offensive the “beginning of a war against Europe.”
“The leadership of Ukraine invites all foreigners who wish to join the resistance to the Russian occupiers and to protect world security to come to our state and to join the ranks of the Territorial Defense Forces,” Zelensky had said, inviting anyone who wishes to “stand side by side” with Ukrainians to do so.
Moscow attacked Ukraine last week, in a move that President Vladimir Putin justified by the need to demilitarize and “denazify” the “regime” in Kiev. Zelensky has accused Russia of an unprovoked invasion. While the US, UK, and EU have taken Ukraine’s side and introduced sanctions against Russia, they have promised support in the form of weapons and ammunition – but not troops.