US, Foreign Nationals Can Serve In Ukraine’s National Guard

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently announced that U.S. citizens and individuals from foreign countries could enlist in Ukraine’s National Guard as the country approaches the end of its two-year war against Russia.

In a statement, Zelenskyy announced that “foreigners and stateless persons” can now join Ukraine’s National Guard.

Since February 2022, the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, foreign nationals have been part of Ukraine’s military but did so as members of the International Legion, according to One America News (OAN).

“Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe, and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians,” Zelenskyy said.

OAN pointed out that the Interior Ministry of Ukraine operates the country’s National Guard, which actively participates in the European nation’s defense against Russia. Zelenskyy said those willing to serve must meet specific requirements, such as being lawfully admitted to Ukraine and having no criminal record.

The requirements for volunteers in the International Legion are like Ukraine’s National Guard, with members needing to be physically and mentally fit, have no prior convictions and be able to lawfully enter the European country.

Russia and Ukraine’s military have struggled immensely since the beginning of the war in 2022.

In Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, officials have emphasized the need for additional forces to continue fighting Russia.

In December 2023, Zelenskyy said that Kyiv’s military wished to recruit an extra 500,000 individuals but characterized the idea as a “very delicate” matter. Shortly after his comments, the Ukrainian parliament introduced a draft law to lower the minimum age to join the military to 25.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov claimed the measure was needed for Ukraine’s defense.

“This law is necessary for the defense of our state and every soldier who is currently at the front,” Umerov said. “It needs to be approved as soon as possible.”

“Our team has already prepared a new version of the draft law, taking into account all the proposals agreed in the working order with the members of parliament at the meetings of the committee on national security, defense and intelligence,” the Russian official added.