Netherlands residents signing up to fight in Ukraine
A "considerable number" of Netherlands residents have volunteered to fight with the Ukrainian army against Russia, Maksym Kononenko, the Ukrainian ambassador to the Netherlands, said to De Telegraaf. President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that he was establishing a foreign legion.
"We are amazed at the number of registrations," Kononenko said to the newspaper. "We have received a significant number of requests from Dutch citizens who want to join the Ukrainian armed forces. We got applications even before President Zelensky made his announcement."
The embassy is getting more and more calls from Netherlands residents who want to offer "practical help" to the country, the ambassador said. "Some people want to provide humanitarian aid, some logistical support. Some even say Ukrainians can come to stay in their homes."
Exactly what Zelensky plans to do with a foreign legion is unclear. The Ukrainian embassy in The Hague can also not give further information about how foreign volunteers will be deployed in Ukraine, according to the newspaper.
In principle, Netherlands residents are allowed to fight with a foreign army, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense said to De Telegraaf. "Unless you enlist in the enemy's army, in a conflict in which the Netherlands is a party. But that is not the case now. And specifically for Dutch soldiers, it is forbidden to join foreign armed forces. That is desertion."
Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs told the newspaper that the Netherlands has negative travel advice for Ukraine. "The travel advice is red. You shouldn't be there now."