What international volunteer fighters in Ukraine should consider
While it is strictly forbidden in Austria to go to war for other countries, the “International Brigade” for Ukraine is said to already have 20,000 volunteer fighters. Ukraine is actively courting anyone who is ready to fight – but not everyone can come. Ex-specialists give tips on what to consider.
More and more international volunteers are arriving in UkraineUkrainian Ministry of Defense
In the meantime, 20,000 volunteers are said to have volunteered, and the first are already involved in fighting in Ukraine. Since there is no time for training, only people with basic military training are wanted. While it is forbidden in Austria to fight for other states, other governments expressly support the operation. Former special forces are now publishing guides on how best to prepare for the mission and what steps to take.
Important: It’s not about you
In order not to attract “Rambos”, it is important to officially register as a volunteer fighter with the Ukrainian authorities such as the embassy or consulate. They then inform volunteers about the type of assignment and divide them into their area of assignment – and they also sort them out, because: lone fighters are just as little in demand as selfie hunters. They not only put themselves at risk, but also others.
To have a plan
It is recommended to pack enough of your own clothing and equipment such as body armor, night vision goggles and combat gloves. If you don’t speak Russian or Ukrainian, it’s important to keep in touch with linguists, experts say. Also particularly important; Own armament is expressly not allowed – not only for safety reasons, but also to ensure the supply of sufficient ammunition.
Hard fighting for the Ukrainian armyAP Photo/Andrew Marienko
Paste instead of expose
If you are fully equipped, a Ukrainian uniform is also recommended to avoid unnecessarily attracting the attention of Russian snipers, is another important piece of advice. And: If you join the fighting Ukrainian troops, you have to abide by their rules and submit – “The instructions of the Ukrainian security forces must be obeyed at all costs!” emphasize the informing authorities.
Special situation as “illegal combatants”
Finally, the “Handbook for Volunteer Fighters” also points out that if you are captured by the Russians, you will be treated as an illegal fighter, which may also be exploited by the media. That is why one should also “mentally prepare for this situation”.