Twenty volunteers to join Ukraine military forces from Belgium

Twenty volunteers to join Ukraine military forces from Belgium
Credit: Belga

Roughly 110 people have so far informed the Ukrainian embassy in Brussels that they are keen to join the “international territorial defence legion", Belga News Agency reported.

The legion was established at the end of February by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy; 18 people of different nationalities have already joined the armed forces in Ukraine.

"We interviewed 50 people," said Vladyslava Litiaga, second secretary at the embassy, to ensure that the volunteers have both "military combat experience” and “a clean criminal record."

The embassy said it is doing its utmost to vet the profile of each volunteer. This includes a "careful scan of the candidates' Facebook profiles to detect signs of possible radicalization," the diplomatic services added.

To support those wishing to aid the military effort, lawyers from Ukrainian consulates are on track to ensure the legality of sending people into combat.

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From a Belgian point of view, there are no legal issues and the Belgian authorities last week confirmed that "the departure of these volunteers to join the Ukrainian army does not in itself constitute an offence, not even according to the Belgian law relating to mercenaries".

However, Belgian Justice Chief Vincent Van Quickenborne said that the profile of volunteers would be observed by State Security Services in response to questions from parliamentarian Marie-Christine Marghem at a Justice Committee meeting on Wednesday.

A new group of volunteers will soon depart from Belgium to Ukraine, the Ukrainian embassy noted, without specifying their number or when they will leave.

Donations to support Ukraine can be made at Brussels Expo (Hall 11, gate D1) from 08:00 to 20:00.

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