"Seven legionnaires defeated sixty Russians": In the "International Legion," they talked about clashes with occupiers and the replenishment of their ranks
Jan, the deputy commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion of the International Defense Legion of Ukraine, known as "Kenobi," discussed the unit's work and structure within the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He also addressed questions from journalists regarding why foreigners choose to join the Legion and the roles of Ukrainians in the unit.
Kenobi's interview was shared on the YouTube channel of the Ukrainian Witness project, aiming to document war events and disseminate information both within Ukraine and internationally.
Having served in the army for 12 years, Jan ("Kenobi") participated in defending the Kyiv region, got wounded in the battles for Hostomel, and is currently engaged in the Bakhmut sector. His brother fought in Donbas and went missing in the fall of 2022.
"People from all over the world join us. Foreigners arrive continuously, representing different nationalities and religions. There are even legionnaires from Sri Lanka and African countries. They all realize that if Ukraine loses, the Baltic States, Poland, and other territories to which Russia claims its 'rights' may be next," Kenobi stated.
The command structure in the International Legion comprises Ukrainians, serving as officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs).
Yan mentioned that occasionally, legionnaires, feeling fatigued, take leave for a few months. Sometimes, they terminate their contracts, return to Ukraine, and resume their service.
The legionnaires receive state honors, with some having already been awarded the Order for Courage. Many express a desire to obtain Ukrainian citizenship.
"Some people are hesitant because acquiring Ukrainian citizenship means giving up their original citizenship. However, many foreigners decide to do so and eventually become citizens of the Ukrainian state," Kenobi explained.
Yan also shared memorable moments from clashes with invaders, thoughts on encouraging people to join the Armed Forces and contribute, his perspective on heroism, and his vision of the Ukrainian army post-victory.
Previously, OBOZ.UA reported on the creation of the International Legion in 2022 in response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and outlined its role.