Canadians and Americans who will travel to travel to Ukraine to fight

Comedian, cook and bride-to-be among US and Canadian civilians who plan to travel to Ukraine in response to Zelensky’s call to arms – while other Americans flee with 500,000 refugees

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday asked for international volunteers to help the fight 
  • Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar on Monday said ‘thousands’ had come forward offering to help 
  • Among them is Canadian comedian Anthony Walker, 29, who is already stationed on the border in Poland 
  • He has no military experience but says he felt compelled to help after watching Putin invade last week 
  • A Ukrainian woman living in Chicago says she will also return to the region with her US Army vet fiance 
  • She said she feels she can help because she speaks English, Ukrainian, Russian, Lithuanian and is ‘stubborn’ 
  • There are others who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid being targeted or having their plans changed
  • One 25-year-old Texan software developer said he hasn’t yet told his parents of his plans yet 
  • Russia continued its assault on Ukraine last night with brutal airstrikes in heavily populated civilian areas 

Americans and Canadians are among the thousands of international civilian volunteers responding to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s call to arms to help fight Russia, despite the fact many have no military experience. 

Zelensky on Sunday announced the formation of what he is calling the International Legion of the Territorial Defense Army in Ukraine. He asked international volunteers with experience to join him and the Ukrainian people on the ground as they continue their brave defense of the country. 

Among those who answered is 29-year-old Canadian comedian Anthony Walker, who is already in Poland, and several Americans who spoke to Reuters on the condition that their full identities not be disclosed. 

Ukrainian nationals like a Chicago-based woman who gave her name only as Maria are also flying back to the region to help. 

‘It’s harder when you’re not there. All of my people are there. I’d rather go there. I am strong, I am stubborn, I speak all the languages in the region – I can be useful,’ she told NBC on Monday. 

She is taking her American fiance with her who is a military veteran. The pair have asked for night vision goggles as wedding gifts, and plan to get married within the next week before they fly to Poland on Monday. 

‘I hope by the time I get there, this is all over,’ she said. 

Walker told that he has no military experience but feels compelled to help. He has been sharing videos from the border on social media where he and others are galvanizing to enter Ukraine to fight soon.  

Others include American veterans who say they feel ‘guilty’ watching the conflict from afar. 

‘I feel guilty to not go,’ said Dax, 26, a veteran of the elite U.S. 82nd Airborne Division infantry, who planned to deploy with other former U.S. military personnel. Like many volunteers, the Alabama native declined to give his full name amid discussion on social media of the need to keep their identities and movements secret for security reasons.

Canadian Bryson Woolsey quit his job as a cook on Sunday after seeing Zelenskiy’s appeal. He has no military training and plans to buy a plane ticket to Poland, cross into Ukraine and volunteer for combat.

‘I felt like I had to do something,’ said Woolsey, 33, of Powell River, British Columbia, who became restless as he watched images of wounded women and children in Ukraine.

Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on Sunday told reporters it was up to individual Canadians to decide whether they wanted to join Ukraine’s international brigade. The U.S. Department of State did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Not all volunteers want to fight.

In Quebec, 35-year-old physician Julien Auger was preparing to leave his young family to become a medic with Ukraine’s health ministry and provide ‘neutral’ humanitarian aid.

‘Global opinion and support is the key right now to solving the conflict,’ said Auger, a father of two who provides palliative care at a hospital in Saint-Jérôme.

In online groups, military veterans warned volunteers with no combat training they were heading into a conflict where inexperience could be a liability for themselves and others.

That did not stop those like Tai B., 23, who studied journalism in New York.

‘I’m not looking to be a hero, or a martyr, I just want to finally do something right,’ said Tai, who can cook, do basic mechanics and knows how to handle a firearm. He has contacted Ukraine’s U.S. Embassy about enlisting in Zelenskiy’s ‘international legion.’

Hyde, a 28-year-old from the U.S. Midwest, said he was already in Kyiv and expected to start military training on Tuesday.

‘I cannot bear the thought of Europe once again being plunged into warfare,’ said Hyde, who described himself as a gun enthusiast and avid survivalist with no combat experience. He expects to be given a helmet, body armor, knee pads and eventually a rifle.

In Austin, Texas, a software developer said he would draw on his experience as a U.S. Army cadet to fight for Ukraine.

‘If they’re willing to defend democracy then I think those that benefit from a democratic society are duty bound to support them,’ said the 25-year-old, who asked that his name not be used. 

‘I’m not telling my parents until I head to the airport.’

The Military Times on Monday reported that it had received ‘several’ inquiries from American veterans who were interested in flying to the region to help. 

Officially, anyone who wants to fight is being asked to fill out their credentials  

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