Belarusian joins Ukrainians in fighting Russia
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Belarusians across Europe have joined Ukrainian troops defending Kyiv with reports suggesting around 20 Belarusian volunteers joining every day. The volunteers work alongside the main Ukrainian Army and territorial defence units alongside other volunteers from across the continent. The Belarusians told Sky News Australia that they have some links to Ukraine, either through family or it being their new home, and have defied Lukashenko who has been supporting Russia in its invasion.
Jan Derbeiko spoke to Sky News Australia and has been living in Kyiv since November 2020 and has joined the territorial forces.
He explained: “I [have] lived in Kyiv since the end of November 2020 and I am accustomed here.
“I had a job and I had plans for the future but the war happened here.
“At that moment, I decided to stay here, I already lost my homeland and now my new home is being destroyed. That’s why I joined the squadron.”
Mr Derbeiko added he is preparing for a large attack on the capital Kyiv but is prepared to defend the city from Russian troops.
He explained he fled Belarus after getting involved in anti-presidential protests against Lukashenko.
Mr Derbeiko said he wanted his “Ukrainian brothers” to win the war and urged the West to support the country the best they could.
Another soldier by the name of Ivan said he could not run away from fighting in Ukraine when “terrible things” are taking place.
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He was furious that children were dying and “peaceful cities” were being bombed by the Russians.
Lukashenko has been supporting Putin with his invasion and allowed Russian troops to move through Belarus to wage an invasion in the north.
Ukraine has claimed Belarus special forces have been operating in Ukraine but US intelligence has yet to publically confirm the claims.
Belarus has also played host to negotiations between Ukraine and Russia but little progress has been made.
European volunteers have flown to Ukraine to help out in the conflict with President Zelensky setting up a foreign legion to aid his military.
However, Ukrainian soldiers have been concerned about serving soldiers arriving in the country as it could escalate the situation where Russia can claim Western aggression.
Mamuka Mamulashvili, commander of the Georgian National Legion, spoke to GB News about UK volunteers going over and said he has had to pay for tickets to send them back.
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He said he understood why soldiers wanted to help but was very concerned Russia could deploy devastating weaponry as they could justify the ramping up of their aggression.
Commander Mamuka also told MailOnline: “I have three bases across Ukraine where I am training foreign fighters and those who want to come are welcome to make themselves known at the border.
“The guards have instructions for people who want to reach us and we will give them training when they arrive if they have no military experience.
“I have many guys from Britain, some have fought with me before and some who are new like Thomas and James but we are ready to take on more.
“We are receiving help and men from many countries but we need more to ensure the freedom of Ukraine.
“If people want to join us in a battle for democracy against military authoritarianism.”
The British Ministry of Defence confirmed several British soldiers have gone AWOL and have travelled to Ukraine to fight there.
Currently, travel to Ukraine is banned and service soldiers have been strongly warned not to go to Ukraine or they will face prison.
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