Hundreds of South Africans and others in the southern African region are eager to join the Ukrainian foreign legion that the country's President, Volodymyr Zelensky, is establishing for volunteers who wish to help Ukraine fight the Russian invaders.
Ukraine's ambassador to South Africa, Liubov Abravitova, told the Cape Town Press Club on Friday that anyone who wanted to join Ukraine's fight against Russia was welcome. She added that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's idea was not new as France already had a foreign legion.
The ambassador said her embassy in Pretoria, and she personally, had received "hundreds" of requests from would-be fighters.
"Of course, first of all, I say, 'You can help by volunteering with humanitarian work, you can help with finance.' But they say, 'We want to fight.' "
However, she had to tell these would-be volunteers to be patient while she awaited a legal opinion from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation on the legality of this recruitment.
She is also seeking the opinions of the nine other states in southern Africa to which the Ukraine embassy in Pretoria is accredited, as each country had regulations on such recruitment. She said they had received requests from people from...