As Ukraine’s allies in the West send military aid to bolster the country’s defenses against the Russian military full-scale Ukraine invasion, there are ways for individual foreigners to help Ukraine, too.
Here’s how foreign citizens can participate in defending Ukraine against Russia, should there be an invasion:
1) Donating money
Every dollar makes a difference when there are many people ready to donate – and Ukraine’s army knows this from experience. Civilian charities and volunteer assistance projects are still around, providing troops with what the official military system fails to give them.
Foreign citizens can help by donating money to such projects. The Kyiv Independent responsibly recommends Come Back Alive (Povertaysya Zhyvym), a Kyiv-based charity, for this purpose. Over the years of war, this organization has won the reputation as one of the most trustworthy and accountable charities working for the military in Ukraine. Come Back Alive provides Ukraine’s military with auxiliary equipment, specialized software, drones, personal body protection, training, and other supplies. On its website, the charity provides instructions on how to donate, from Ukraine or abroad, and posts financial reports.
2) Joining home guard
For those who live in Ukraine and want to get involved on a bigger level, there is good news – a foreigner can actually stand up next to their Ukrainian neighbors and join the emerging Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces. This brand new branch of service is just in the making, but volunteers can already enlist.
The new National Resistance Act has entered force on Jan 1, giving this new organization a structure and statute. The new territorial defense force is for everyone fit for service and willing to help defend their local communities as a part-time soldier. The new bill envisages creating 25 territorial defense brigades, one for every Ukrainian region, excluding Russian-occupied Crimea. That’s nearly 150 territorial defense battalions formed in each district enlisting up to 130,000 men and women, all volunteers.
To join, one must be between the age of 18 and 60, be fit for service, and not have a criminal record. Foreign nationals who have legally resided in Ukraine for at least five years are also welcomed. Those willing to enlist need to approach a local military recruitment office. In Kyiv, the 130th Territorial Defense Battalion is active. It has all the necessary information on its Facebook page and now welcomes candidates.
3) Active military service
Foreign nationals, especially those with experience in the military, can also consider going as far as to join the Armed Forces or Ukraine’s National Guard as active service members. According to the law, this option is open to physically and mentally fit foreigners with no criminal record, between 18 and 40 years of age, who can apply for positions of enlisted soldiers or non-commissioned soldiers. Under certain exemptions, the age limit can be extended to 60.
This is legal under Ukrainian law, which enables the military to sign official service contracts with foreign nationals or stateless persons. Similar to Ukrainian recruits, foreigners would have to undergo basic training for up to three months and will be paid equally with their Ukrainian mates. The first contract can be signed for three years.
See more details here: kyiv independent