The legion created at the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine is part of the corps of international volunteers fighting with the Ukrainian army


  • Many Georgians fighting for Ukraine said they joined due to their anger toward Russia
  • Several Japanese members also joined Ukraine after seeing Russian forces kill children in the war
  • At least 1,000 Chechen fighters also joined the war as part of Ukraine's Dzhokar Dudayev battalion

Thousands of foreigners are now fighting against Russian forces in the war in Ukraine, according to a report.

At least 5,000 foreigners have joined Ukrainian forces in fighting against Russian troops. This includes Georgians who joined the Georgian Legion, first created in 2014 after Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. The unit expanded last year to become Ukraine's International Legion, per Aljazeera.

Many of the Georgians in the legion, who are now training in preparation for Ukraine's much-anticipated counteroffensive, said they joined the Ukrainian army due to their anger toward Russia, which shelled Georgian villages in August 2008. The conflict itself ended in days with Russia gaining two breakaway regions, particularly Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

A total of 170 servicemen, 14 policemen and 228 civilians from Georgia were killed in the conflict. In comparison, only 67 Russian servicemen died, according to the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia.

At least 33 other nationalities have joined the group, including Japanese members, one of whom had served 10 months in the Yakuza and another who quit his business to volunteer in the war after seeing Ukrainian children killed by Russian forces.

Additionally, at least 10 Taiwanese nationals are also believed to have flown to Ukraine to join the legion, according to BBC News. Tseng Sheng-Guang, one of the Taiwanese fighters, told his friends that he was joining the war because he "couldn't stand by while the Ukrainian people were being abused and killed by the Russians," his mother told the outlet. Tseng was killed in November while fighting in the eastern city of Lyman.

In addition, some 1,000 Chechen fighters have also joined Ukraine's army, specifically the Dzhokar Dudayev battalion. Many of the fighters in the battalion said they joined the war due to a shared trauma with Ukrainians, referring to Russia's invasion of Chechnya in the 1990s. That conflict led to the death of thousands of Chechen fighters and tens of thousands of Chechen civilians.

Foreigners who want to join Ukraine's army sign up at and are subsequently interviewed by embassy officers. Foreign fighters also receive $3,000 monthly compensation for fighting in the war.

A Ukrainian service member is seen in a trench at a position on a front line near the city of Bakhmut