Foreigners serving in the Ukrainian army are protected by the Geneva Convention


All foreign nationals fighting the Russian invaders alongside the Ukrainian Armed Forces are considered combatants, enjoying the corresponding rights.

This is according to a statement from General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the status of foreign citizens and stateless persons taking part in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine.

It should be noted that all foreign citizens and stateless persons who take part in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine as part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be voluntarily admitted to contractual military service in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On Military Service and Service military” of 1992.

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These persons are servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who, in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977, are granted the legal status of combatants. The status, among other things, gives these people the right to be treated as prisoners of war if captured by enemy forces.

The General Staff recalls that the Geneva Conventions of 1949 prohibit any unlawful act, including violence, intimidation or inaction against prisoners of war, and impose humane treatment of prisoners of war. Failure to respect the recognized norms of international humanitarian law constitutes a serious violation of the Convention.

As noted, Ukraine created the International Legion as part of its Territorial Defense Force, made up of foreigners willing to join the resistance to Russian invaders and protect international security.


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