Foreign fighters drawn to Ukraine's international legion

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By Valérie Gauriat
Pierre Kastner Kysilenko
Pierre Kastner Kysilenko   -  Copyright  Credit: Euronews

Pierre Kastner Kysilenko is a Frenchman with Ukrainian origins.

Based in Berlin, he recently travelled to Lviv in western Ukraine to find out how he could help the country where he still has family ties.

Euronews reporter Valerie Gauriat joined him on a trip to Yaroviv, 70 kilometres south of Lviv, to visit the Ukrainian Army's training centre, where candidates for Ukraine's International Legion are enrolled.

The officer escorting him says Ukraine's foreign fighters are a real asset.

"We need this experience of other armies, to deal with this great enemy. Nowadays it is not enough to kill your enemy. You need to kill all its information background, its propaganda, all the things the enemy uses in these modern conflicts.” he says.

But, after attending the centre, Pierre realised he could not commit to the legion.

"Bad news for me because I was hoping to be able to go back and forth, maybe spend a few weeks here and then go back to Germany, then come back," he said. "That's not possible because the contract is for the whole duration of the war. So that means for me personally, I will have to find another way of helping, another way of being useful for Ukraine.”

Pierre, who is about to get married, is now committed to carrying out humanitarian work to help Ukrainian refugees.

Three days after this report was filmed, the Yaroviv military training centre was targeted by a russian air strike.

According to Ukraine's foreign ministry, some 20,000 people from more than 50 countries have applied to join the International legion.

Journalist • Valérie Gauriat

Video editor • Valérie Gauriat