The Ukraine embassy in Nigeria says Nigerians who are willing to travel to Ukraine to fight Russian forces must provide $1,000 for flight ticket and visa.
According to the Punch, the embassy said this on Thursday when some Nigerians converged on its premises in Abuja to express their readiness to fight on Ukraine’s side.
On February 24, Russian troops invaded Ukraine after Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, ordered a special military operation in Donbas, a separatist-held region in Ukraine.
Since the invasion, there have been reported casualties on both sides, and many residents of Ukraine, including Nigerians, are fleeing to neighbouring countries.
In an interview with the Punch, Bohdan Soltys, second secretary at the Ukrainian embassy, confirmed that $1,000 will be needed by Nigerian volunteers.
He said it will be difficult for Nigerians to travel to Ukraine now since the airspace has been shut owing to the war.
“It is normal practice when people want to volunteer and join the army of another country. It is a normal international practice. Of course, for us, it is an expression of support which we really appreciate. For now, no one has gone. We have received hundreds of applications from people who said they are willing. We have sent lists to the government but I cannot tell you what will happen next,” he said.
On why $1,000 was being demanded from Nigerian volunteers, the Ukrainian diplomat said, “Yes, $1,000. That is what I paid the last time I visited Ukraine.”
Reacting to the monetary requirement, Monday Adikwu, an ex-Nigerian army officer, said the $1,000 requirement is “too high”.
“They said we should provide evidence of military experience, passports, and $1,000 for tickets and others. When I asked what the salary is, the guy first said $7,000 and later changed it to $3,300 per month. I showed him my military and training certificates,” he said.
When asked why he wants to go to Ukraine, Adikwu said he needed money to take care of his family including six children, adding that he was not afraid of Russian forces.
Nkem Ndueche another applicant from Anambra state, said he was fluent in Russian having attended a Russian military academy in 2007, and that he was “101 percent ready to fight for Ukraine. It is wrong for someone to invade another person’s land”.