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Zelenskyy supports foreign training and border missions in Ukraine but refrains from inviting troops to fight

Zelenskyy said Russia could exploit other troops fighting on the frontline to raise concerns among other nations’ societies about sending their children to war and undermining the unity.
Zelenskyy rebukes Pope's "white flag" remark
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Photo: president.gov.ua
Zelenskyy supports foreign training and border missions in Ukraine but refrains from inviting troops to fight

In a recent interview aired on Ukrainian TV, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his support for initiatives involving foreign states conducting training or border missions in Ukraine. However, he emphasized that he cannot openly call for other nations to send their troops to fight in the war against Russia.

Foreign missions patrolling the border with Belarus and Russia at the part without active fighting could free part of Ukraine’s armed forces for actual battles. Training missions inside Ukraine could be more effective in preparing more Ukrainian troops’ reserves. At the same time, according to Zelenskyy, inviting foreign troops to fight directly on the frontline could be used by Russia in its informational operations.

Zelenskyy mentioned that French President Emmanuel Macron had put forward several proposals, which the Ukrainian leader publicly endorsed. These include training Ukrainian soldiers within Ukraine.1 Zelenskyy believes this would be a more efficient approach than sending Ukrainian brigades abroad for training and then having them return to gain combat experience with the new equipment.

Another proposal involves establishing repair hubs in Ukraine to maintain and fix Western-supplied military hardware, potentially in underground facilities across different regions. Zelenskyy fully supports this idea, noting that some of these measures are already being implemented and have proven to be much faster than sending tanks or armored vehicles abroad for repairs, which can take up to three months.

Regarding the suggestion of a border mission, Zelenskyy stated, “He (Macron) proposed that ‘we can be on the border.’ Well, how can we refuse? If they come, we will only support it.”

However, when discussing the possibility of deploying foreign troops in Ukraine “in the full sense of the word,” Zelenskyy expressed caution. He emphasized that he cannot publicly say, “Yes, let’s go, armies of the world, come to Ukraine and fight.”

The President explained that such a statement would allow Russia to exploit the situation, raising concerns among other nations’ societies about sending their children to war and potentially undermining the unity between European and NATO countries.

Zelenskyy fears that if he were to initiate such a call, Russia would make every effort to halt military assistance from other states to Ukraine. Russian propaganda could divide public opinion, pressuring leaders to slow down or stop various supplies to Ukraine.

The President also acknowledged the presence of some volunteer formations in Ukraine, where individuals with foreign citizenship come to fight for the country. He stated that Ukraine would never oppose anyone who wants to help defend its territory.

The International Legion was established in the first days of the war, uniting soldiers from various countries who were willing to fight on the Ukrainian side.

Zelensyy emphasized that timely delivery of equipment and ammunition is more important right now, while the absence of American military aid leads to the deficit of material in the Armed Forces. This doesn’t allow Ukrainian forces to contest the battlefield initiative.

He also said that Ukraine is open to loans as a form of US aid if they are provided in a timely manner. “If we were offered a loan today or everything for free in a year, we would say: ‘Only today.'”

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