Hundreds of Ukrainians in Poland want to join new legion to fight in Ukraine, claims Zelensky

Preliminary estimates suggest that several thousand Ukrainian refugees might apply to join the legion

A Ukrainian military instructor of the Arey Battalion checks the weapons of prisoners who have joined the Ukrainian army during training, in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Hundreds of Ukrainians living in Poland have already expressed their interest in joining a Ukrainian legion that is set to be trained in the country, according to unofficial sources obtained by a reporter from RMF FM radio.

The high interest in the unit was already present before an official announcement was even made about its formation. The creation of the legion was declared in Warsaw on Monday by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

The legion, to be established and trained in Poland, will consist of Ukrainian citizens who volunteer to defend their country. This initiative is part of a security agreement signed on Monday by Tusk and Zelensky.

According to unofficial information from RMF FM, sourced from Ukrainian diplomatic posts, hundreds of Ukrainians residing in Poland are keen to enlist in this formation. This new unit, inspired by the Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian brigade, would enable Ukrainians in Poland to participate in the defense of Ukraine, Zelensky stated on Monday.

He clarified that “the Ukrainian legion would undergo training in Poland, and would be equipped and armed.” Every Ukrainian citizen deciding to join the legion would be able to sign a contract with the Ukrainian armed forces, Zelensky added.

In Poland, willing Ukrainians would be accommodated and equipped at the cost of Polish units. Detailed plans are still underway, but it is likely that Ukrainians living in Poland would be sent to military bases experienced in training Ukrainian military personnel. Since the beginning of the war, approximately 20,000 individuals have already passed through such units.

Preliminary estimates suggest that several thousand Ukrainian refugees might apply to join the legion. It is also possible that Poland could train Ukrainians residing in other European countries.

RMF FM reports that efforts are simultaneously being made to involve other EU countries in funding the training and equipping expenses. Polish authorities are convincing partners that training the Ukrainian legion is also an investment in European security.

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