Nigerians who want to fight invading Russian soldiers in Ukraine must pay $1,000 for a plane ticket and visa, according to the Ukraine embassy in Nigeria. ayokinews.com reports
The embassy declared this on Thursday, according to the Punch, when several Nigerians congregated on its Abuja grounds to show their willingness to fight on Ukraine’s side.
Russian forces entered Ukraine on February 24 after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a special military operation in Donbas, a separatist-held part of Ukraine.
Since the invasion, both sides have reported losses, and many Ukrainians, including Nigerians, have fled to neighboring countries.
Bohdan Soltys, Second Secretary at the Ukrainian embassy, revealed to The PUNCH, during an interview that Nigerian volunteers will require $1,000.
Nigerians will find it difficult to fly to Ukraine now that the airspace has been closed due to the fighting, he added.
“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.
Speaking on why a sum of $1,000 is being demanded from Nigerians volunteers, the Ukrainian diplomat said: “Yes, $1,000. That is what I paid the last time I visited Ukraine.”
Monday Adikwu, an ex-Nigerian army commander, responded to the monetary demand, saying that $1,000 is too expensive.
“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 questioned why he wants to go to Ukraine, Adikwu stated that he needs money to support his family of six children and that he is not frightened of Russian military.
Another candidate from Anambra state, Nkem Ndueche, stated that he was proficient in Russian language and that he was “101 percent ready to fight for Ukraine” after attending a Russian military academy in 2007. “Invasion of another person’s territory is illegal,” he added.