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60,000 overseas Ukrainians return home to fight Putin

Posted March. 07, 2022 07:52,   

Updated March. 07, 2022 07:52


“Vladimir Putin is the Second Hitler. We will drive him out without fail.”

This is what Oleg, a 40-something Ukrainian, had to say as he was undergoing immigration process to enter Ukraine at a border checkpoint in Mediyka in southeastern Poland on Saturday. A resident in Lvov in western Ukraine, Oleg escaped to Poland when Russia invaded his fatherland on February 24, but he visited the border checkpoint on Saturday to return home and fight Russian invaders. As more Ukrainians sought to return, a 2-kilometer queue was formed at the checkpoint by vehicles waiting for immigration process on the day.

There was also a crowd of people at the central station in Przemyś near Mediyka were about to board trains bound for Ukraine. People were seen packed in more than 10 train cars of the train that departed at 4 p.m. on the day. Apart from those who were returning to participate in the war, there was also a flurry of people who sought to return to Ukraine to deliver relief supplies.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on the day “A total of 66,224 men have returned from overseas to fight Russian troops. Many people are trying to defend our nation. We are invincible.” The BBC reported Russian President Putin sought to complete warfare and secure victory as fast as possible, but is currently struggling in the face of strong resistance by Ukrainians.

“Some 10,000 Russian soldiers died for 10 days since their invasion,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. “Most of the deceased are soldiers aged 18 to 20, and they did not know why they were fighting,” he said, noting that many Russians have perished due to the Putin administration’s ambition.” He stressed that major cities including the capital Kiev have not been occupied by Russia, and the Ukrainian military maintains control there.

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com