World, Russia-Ukraine War

9 South Koreans currently in Ukraine as volunteer fighters: Report

Citizens violated government ban, process started to cancel their passports, Foreign Ministry official tells local media

Islamuddin Sajid   | 18.03.2022
9 South Koreans currently in Ukraine as volunteer fighters: Report FILE PHOTO

ANKARA

Nine South Korean nationals, including a former Navy SEAL, are in Ukraine as volunteers fighting Russian forces, local media reported on Friday.

The South Korean nationals traveled to Ukraine without government permission earlier this month, an unnamed Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying in a Yonhap News Agency report.

“Many of them are assumed to have entered the country in order to join foreign militaries,” the official said, adding that the South Korean government is trying to confirm their whereabouts.

They include Rhee Keun, a former Navy SEAL who has become a popular YouTuber in South Korea, the report said.

Rhee confirmed his presence in Ukraine in a social media post this week and said he is “combating every day.”

The Foreign Ministry has filed “formal passport law violation charges” and “will take measures to invalidate their passports,” since South Korea had last month barred nationals from going to Ukraine to join combat forces, the report added.

Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have repeatedly called for foreign nationals to join Ukrainian forces in their fight against Russia.

Kyiv has even created a special group of foreign fighters, dubbed the International Legion for the Territorial Defense of Ukraine.

More than 22,000 volunteers from around the world, including nearly 1,000 German nationals, have joined the special force, a March 9 report by German daily Bild quoted Ukrainian officials as saying.

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