The Ukrainian military legion with men of ’52 nationalities’
ABC Europe Correspondent Isabella Higgins met with Ukrainian International Legion Spokesperson, Corporal Damien Magrou in Lvov.
His unit is filled with foreign fighters from all over the world who want to help the Ukrainian army.
Corporal Magrou said the legionnaires are soldiers, not mercenaries, who receive the same pay and conditions as their Ukrainian counterparts, and should be treated as prisoners of war if captured.
“I know we have some Australian signings, I’m not in a position to comment on the numbers…Australia aren’t among the top nationalities, but we do,” he said.
New soldiers must also learn to speak the language of war, with dozens of different dialects spoken among recruits.
“We have over 52 nationalities…so there will always be language issues,” he said.
“Language is one of the factors we look at when we train combat units, to try to make sure everyone always has someone to communicate with.”
He said recruits must have military experience as there is no time to train them before heading to the front lines.
“The process is pretty quick to get them to our recruiting center to test them, make sure they have the experience they say they have, and then sign the contract with them.
“I can certainly tell you that [this legion] not only make a symbolic difference, we have a number of combat units that are deployed to the front [lines].”
European correspondent Isabella Higgins reports in Lviv.