Man leaves Essex home to join Ukraine defence against Putin’s invasion ‘We have to fight’

Ukraine: Protesters in London show anger over invasion

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The Russian leader ordered an unprecedented assault on Ukraine last Thursday, as he sought to bring the country back under Russia’s control. The Russian attack has encountered fierce resistance from the Ukrainian military and suffered serious setbacks. In a recent video, the Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy appealed to Europeans with “combat experience” to come join the fight against the Russian aggressors.

He said: “If you have combat experience in Europe and do not want to look at the indecision of politicians, you can come to our country and join us in defending Europe, where it is necessary now.”

Oleksandr Bilyy, a 39-year-old delivery driver from Basildon and two friends have responded to the call to arms.

Mr Bilyy, who’s lived in the UK for the past five years, will drive to Lviv where he has family.

He told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s our homeland. We have to go there. We have to fight.”

The Ukrainian added: “We have to take them out of our country, so they have to forget about us.

“Do whatever they want (within their own borders) and we will do what we want.

“And we will live how we want, manage our life, live our lives and bring up our kids.”

Mr Bilyy is well prepared to take on the Russians, having received military training in his youth.

He will be heading to the frontline along with his 21-year-old son.

Many foreigners from all around the world have travelled to Ukraine to help the country defend its sovereignty and democracy.

One such group is the Georgia National League, made up of one Albanian and five Georgians.

The Georgian members of the group are themselves veterans of their country’s war with Russia, back in the summer of 2008.

Vano Kakviashvili,38, told Coffee or Die magazine: “We are united by our desire to stop Russian aggression.”

The lone Albanian, a 24-year-old named Emanuel Bazanji, added: ““What unites us is the love for freedom, the love for democracy, and the love to help people.”

The Ukrainian government has been handing out weapons and ammunition to any citizen willing to take up arms.

By Saturday, it was claimed that more than 25,000 automatic guns had been distributed along with over ten million rounds of ammunition.

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At the same time, the government has published and broadcast information to its citizens on how to make Molotov cocktails.

In a social media post to counter false Russian claims that he had fled Kyiv, President Zelenskiy told Ukrainians that the fight goes on.

He said: “Listen, I am here. We will not lay down the weapons, we will defend our state, because our weapon is our truth.

“And the truth is this our land, our country, our children and we will defend all of that.

“That’s all I wanted to tell you. Glory to Ukraine!”

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