Swiss fighters join Ukrainian forces

Dozens of volunteers from Switzerland have heeded the call to fight in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country. That's according to an investigation by Swiss public television, RTS.

This content was published on May 5, 2022 - 12:29

RTS found that 35 people registered at the Ukrainian embassy in Switzerland in the first week of the conflict. It followed an appeal for volunteers by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to join an international legion of foreign soldiers. Not all of the volunteers at the embassy were Swiss – many were Kosovars or former soldiers from the United States and Britain.

Among those headed to the Ukrainian border were a Swiss citizen (pseudonym Luc) and two French men. Luc is is a middle-class Swiss citizen with moderate political views. He has no direct ties to Ukraine. "I am not fighting for Ukraine, but for Europe," he explained. "We are facing a conflict that goes far beyond this country. We have to fight for our principles, our values.” 

The trio agreed to be filmed on condition of anonymity. Swiss citizens are not allowed to join foreign armies – the crime carries a prison sentence of up to three years. However, according to RTS, Swiss people who join the French Foreign Legion face no problems. 

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