Hundreds of Swedish volunteers on their way to Ukraine
Ukraine is in the process of building up an international brigade of foreigners who are willing to ”defend the country against the Russian invaders and protect global security”, as the state news agency Ukrinform describes the task.
Ukrinform has drawn up a seven-point checklist for people wanting to join the brigade. The first step is to contact the Ukrainian embassy in one's home country.
The Ukrainian ambassador in Sweden says they are looking for volunteers with military training, and refer all other questions to the Swedish co-ordinator Philip Brännvall.
– About 400 have been in touch. Some of them will go on Thursday, and the others will follow on. I don't want to go into details for reasons of security, says Brännvall. He is co-ordinator between the embassy and the brigade group.
Semin Yildiz grew up in the south-east of Skåne. He is leaving Gärsnäs station early on Friday morning for Kastrup and onwards to the war in Ukraine.
– Until Ukraine wins. Or loses. Quite simply until the conflict has been resolved. I haven't said goodbye to my friends and family. I've said 'See you soon'.But I've no idea when that may be, is my answer, he says.
The Swedes will fly to Krakow, in Poland, and from there continue into Ukraine.
– They will be employed by the Ukrainian army and have a written contract with them, this is no job for mercenaries. The volunteers' background will be checked before they are given the go-ahead to join the brigade, says Philip Brännvall.
– They must go through a personality test and a political test. And we check that they don't have a criminal background. All religions and political preferences are welcome, as long as they are not extrerme, he says.
– We check them out on Facebook and Twitter as well. As far as we can see now, it is a lot of ordinary young men who are going.