The International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine was founded on Feb. 27, 2022, at the request of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Legion operates on selfless foreign volunteers that have pledged to fight under the Ukrainian government during Russia’s current invasion. Amongst the more than 20,000 volunteers, it is said that Canada makes up a large portion of those going to fight in Ukraine.
Now, not just anyone can volunteer for the Legion — they are asking for those with a prior military background, those who know how to handle a weapon and those that are confident in military and high-stress situations according to their website.
These are all volunteers going into an active war zone in the fight for peace, however, it was said the initial intake was discharged after an ‘uneven’ performance. This discharge happened without any official notification or ceremony. It was also noted that many from a subsequent intake — a death toll of an estimated 100 – were killed after Russian cruise missiles struck a training camp. It is not known if all were foreign fighters, however, a Canadian man from New Brunswick was confirmed to be amongst the injured.
The Ukrainians have learned from these initial trials by fire, and are now thinking of only taking experienced combat veterans into the Legion.
There is also the thought the Legion could be the start of a proxy war of sorts. A sentiment that could be incredibly dangerous if Putin and the Kremlin were to conclude that the fighters weren’t all volunteers — but sent by countries under the guise of them being just volunteers.
NATO hasn’t declared war on Russia yet, nor has the help extended past anything but weapons of war — but even those weapons are making Russia dig their heels into the ground and forcing them to move incredibly slow. Putin wanted a quick war, and fortunately, that just wasn’t possible with the modern weapons given to Ukraine. Many of Russia’s armoured forces were designed and made in an era where smart weapons didn’t exist and now that they do, they pose a serious threat.
Russian tanks are lightly armoured, cheap and easy to make, and low profile. Perfect for during the Cold War when shipping them from the factory to the potential front-lines would take mere days. Western tanks on the other hand are much better armoured — shipping them across the sea would take too long. Thus they were designed to not be knocked out as easily. This has proven to be one of Russia’s largest downfalls.
The fog of war is still in full effect in Ukraine, and it chokes us out from fully getting all the facts, however, it is known that Russia’s offence is now extremely slow-moving (if not halted completely) and the Ukrainians are holding on for their freedom. Keep those who have been displaced, had their homes destroyed, lost their lives, or lost someone dear to them in your thoughts. Let’s hope this will end sooner rather than later.