Many Indians volunteer to join Ukraine Legion

Over 500 submit applications; one student is said to have joined

March 08, 2022 12:44 pm | Updated 11:14 pm IST

Ukrainian forces assisting a person as people try to leave the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, amid heavy shelling on Saturday.

Ukrainian forces assisting a person as people try to leave the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, amid heavy shelling on Saturday. | Photo Credit: AFP

Over 500 Indians from across the country, including some veterans, have submitted applications volunteering to join the International Legion created to fight Russian forces in Ukraine, diplomatic sources said. One Indian has, so far, joined the Ukraine International Legion, according to official sources.

Website to join

Following the announcement by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to create the International Legion for the territorial defence of Ukraine which would function under the territorial defence squad, a separate website was launched which details steps to join the volunteer force.

However, receiving applications does not mean they are accepted by default, a source explained. There is a long process based on certain criteria including domestic legislation of respective countries, and the modalities for accepting volunteers are being finalised by the Ukraine government, it has been learnt

One Indian student in Kharkiv is known to have joined the territorial defence squad, official and diplomatic sources told The Hindu. The youth is from Tamil Nadu, a source in the security establishment in New Delhi said.

On March 6, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced that that some 20,000 volunteers from 52 countries had signed up to join an “international legion” to defend Ukraine.

“The whole world today is on Ukraine’s side not only in words but in deeds,” he said in a TV address. Media reports from Ukraine said 3,000 American applications have been received to join the Legion.

Late on Monday, the Kyiv Independent put out a photo on Twitter saying the first foreigners have already joined the International Legion and are fighting outside Kyiv. It added that according to the Ukrainian Ground Forces, the volunteers came from the U.S., the U.K., Sweden, Lithuania, Mexico, and India.

Indian domestic law clearly states such an act is punishable under Chapter VI, Section 121-130 of the Indian Penal Code (offences against the state).

Under the section “Committing depredation on territories of power at peace with the Government of India”, “Whoever commits depredation, or makes preparation to commit depredation, on the territories of any Power in alliance or at peace with the Government of India, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine and to forfeiture of any property used or intended to be used in committing such depredation, or acquired by such depredation.”

Application of law

The law is invoked when the foreign Army in which India nationals joining is doing inimical things or is an adversary of India, experts noted referring to the efforts of Indian nationals to join ISIS in Syria which was prevented.

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