Nearly 20,000 foreign volunteers have signed up to fight alongside Ukraine against invading Russian troops, Ukrainian officials said Sunday.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said at a news conference Sunday that the number of foreign applicants is “approaching 20,000,” the Washington Post reported.
“Experienced veterans and volunteers from 52 countries of the world come to us. This is their desire,” Kubela said, local media reported.
The influx of applications comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last week called on “citizens of the world” to join the Ukrainian defense and lifted visa requirements for foreign fighters.
In a video Thursday, Zelensky said around 16,000 fighters had volunteered to join the country’s efforts to fight against Russian forces.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry also put out a call for foreign volunteers on Facebook, asking for applicants with combat experience who have “citizenship other than Ukrainian, but … are standing with Ukraine against [the] Russian invasion.”
“This is [the] time to act!” wrote the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “Join the International Legion of Territorial Defense!
“Do not lose your chance to be part of the bravest Armed Forces!”