Dozens of Scots signed up to fight in Ukraine, consulate officials say

It comes after Ukraine’s president urged foreigners to ‘join the defence of security in Europe’.

03 March 2022

An estimated 100 people from Scotland have signed up to support the fight against Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to officials.

The figure came from the Consulate of Ukraine based in Edinburgh.

It comes after Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky urged foreigners to “join the defence of security in Europe” as Russia ramps up its attacks on major cities in the country.

Mr Zelensky has temporarily lifted the requirement for entry visas for any foreigner willing to join Ukraine’s International Defence Legion and fight Mr Putin’s military invasion.

Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has encouraged people to join the fight (AP)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Wednesday that any Scot wishing to fight should “think carefully about what we can do to support Ukraine that is actually helpful and meaningful”.

She said she will not encourage people with no military experience or training to go to Ukraine, adding “I am not sure that would be the best way to help Ukraine at this particular moment.”

One Scottish former soldier, Joe Stirling, told the BBC’s World at One programme this week that he planned to travel to Ukraine on Friday.

Mr Stirling, who has previously served in Iraq, said: “People need help.

“Countries and nationalities aside, it’s humans going to help other humans.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
People take part in a Standing In Solidarity With Ukraine rally in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

“If I was a bricklayer I’d go and build hospitals.

“If I was a doctor I’d go out and give people first aid.

“It just happens my trade is soldier, so I’m going out to fight.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has previously she would “absolutely” support British nationals who choose to go to Ukraine to help fight the invasion.

But in response to her comments, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace urged Britons not to travel to Ukraine to join the fighting as he said the “very dangerous” situation could lead to them being killed.

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