- The Ukrainian Embassy in Nigeria has shed some light on what Nigerians willing to help Ukraine fight Russia should do
- Bohdan Soltys, second secretary at the Ukrainian Embassy in Nigeria, said each volunteer had to pay $1,000 for tickets and visas.
- The diplomat also explained that the volunteers will be paid the same as Ukrainian soldiers, adding that the country does not employ mercenaries.
FCT, Abuja- The Ukrainian Embassy in Nigeria says Nigerians wishing to travel to Ukraine to help the country fight Russian forces will need to provide $1,000 each (about 418,000 naira) for tickets and visas.
The embassy said this when some Nigerians converged on its premises in Abuja on Thursday March 3 to express their willingness to join Ukraine to fight against the Russian invasion, according to management diary.
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Bohdan Soltys, the second secretary at the Ukrainian Embassy in Nigeria, reportedly confirmed that $1,000 would be needed for each Nigerian volunteer.
Russian-Ukrainian War: Why pay $1,000 to volunteer?
Soltys explained that the volunteers cannot fly directly to Ukraine now since the airspace has been closed due to the Russian invasion.
He said it would also be difficult for volunteers to use land borders.
The option available to fly to neighboring countries of Ukraine such as Romania and Poland. However, the neighboring countries listed are members of the European Union and Nigerians need visas to visit them.
This is where the $1,000 each for their tickets and visas came in. The second secretary said he paid the same amount “the last time I visited Ukraine.”
“It’s normal practice when people want to volunteer and join another country’s army. It’s normal international practice. Of course, for us, it’s an expression of support that we really appreciate. So far no one has left. We have had hundreds of applications from people who have said they are ready. We have sent lists to the government but I cannot tell you what will happen next.
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“In this particular case, you cannot fly to Ukraine. The only way to fly is to travel to countries bordering Ukraine. All of these countries are part of the EU and Nigerians will need visas to visit these countries. So that’s a big hurdle. You cannot fly directly to Ukraine. We will have to go to Poland or Hungary.”
Invasion of Ukraine by Russia: will the volunteers be paid?
Soltys advised Nigerians who want to volunteer to help Ukraine not to focus on money as they would only be paid like Ukrainian soldiers.
He also clarified that Ukraine does not recruit mercenaries but volunteers.
“If a person wants to fight for Ukraine or any other country, only volunteers can do that. If Ukraine pays these people, they will be mercenaries and it violates international law…
“Usually when a person joins another country’s army, they pay the normal price their soldiers are paid. That’s how it works around the world. You come to fight because an injustice has been committed.”
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Legit.ng notes that Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister, had earlier asked foreigners willing to help fight Russia to contact Ukrainian embassies in their country.
He wrote on Twitter:
“Foreigners willing to defend Ukraine and the world order within the framework of the International Territorial Defense Legion of Ukraine, I invite you to contact the foreign diplomatic missions of Ukraine in your respective countries. Together we have defeated Hitler, and we will also defeat Putin.”
Berliners offer free rooms to Ukrainians fleeing Putin’s war
Meanwhile, thousands of people showed up at the main railway station in Berlin, Germany, offering to house fleeing Ukrainians.
Kind people held up signs saying they could accommodate those who had nowhere to go.
In one of the reviews seen in a viral video, a Berlin residence wrote that there was a room available at his home.