Ukraine’s Foreign Volunteers Are Being Told They Won’t Be Able to Leave

( Reports suggest that foreign nationals who have traveled to Ukraine to assist with the country’s military against Russian invaders are being tricked into signing indefinite service contracts, meaning that they technically…can’t leave.

According to a report from The Economist, non-Ukrainian citizens assisting the Ukrainian Army on a volunteer basis are being warned that they won’t be able to leave – but officials from the Ukrainian Army have denied the claim totally.

When Russians invaded Ukraine, the Ukrainian military and government established the International Legion for the Defence of Ukraine. People from all over the world traveled to the country to assist with the fight, and by March, a Telegram channel had 16,000 foreigners signed up and expressing their willingness to assist with the war effort.

According to The Economist report, however, some people who arrived at the Ukrainian border with Poland were unable to see contracts signing them up for the war effort until they actually entered the country.

Once in the country, the contracts reportedly say that volunteers have the “same obligations” as Ukrainian soldiers, meaning that they will earn 7,000 hryvnias per month – roughly $270 – and that anyone who signs the contract between the ages of 18 and 60 will be required to “remain in the Ukrainian foreign legion for the duration of the war.”

Russia said that men joining the fight for Ukraine would not be treated as normal Ukrainian soldiers. It means that, even though they should be treated as normal prisoners of war, Russia will instead treat foreign fighters as “mercenaries,” meaning that they would “not enjoy the status of prisoners of war.”

At best, Russia says, they can expect to be prosecuted as criminals. It means that foreign fighters may, realistically, just be killed by the Russian military. And we already know that Russian fighters are happy to commit war crimes…