Ukraine-Russia: Popularity of Kyiv newspaper article shows foreigners are still keen to get involved in war

Top of the list of ‘most-read’ stories on the website of Ukrainian daily newspaper Kyiv Independent is an article that was written before the war began.

Originally published in January – weeks before the Russian invasion and at a time when many people living outside of Ukraine were barely aware of the escalating tensions - the article, entitled ‘Want to help Ukraine’s military as a foreigner? Here’s what you can do’, details how people from overseas can join both the Ukrainian military and the Home Guard.

Two months into the conflict and the ongoing popularity of the story shows people from across the globe are clearly still keen to offer their personal support for the country – despite the growing evidence that doing so is a considerable risk.

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Just this week, one British man believed to be fighting for the Ukrainian army has been killed and his colleague is missing. Scott Sibley was an experienced soldier, having previously served in the British military. Meanwhile, a pair of aid workers, Paul Urey and Dylan Healy, who were reportedly trying to help evacuate a Ukrainian woman and her two children, were captured by Russian troops earlier this week.

The Kyiv Independent's most popular story is about how foreigners can support Ukraine in person

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Ukraine-Russia: British aid workers captured by Russian military

This all comes just weeks after two other British men, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, were captured while fighting in the south-eastern city of Mariupol. They later appeared on Russian state TV with bruises to their faces, requesting a swap for Russian prisoners.

The cases of Mr Urey and Mr Healy, who were not affiliated with any particular charity, but were working alone, shows the strength of their desire to act. The reality of the two individuals, one of them just 22 years old, driving through the Russian-occupied, mine-laden Ukrainian countryside to rescue individual families, is almost unimaginable. Yet there must be numerous others taking on similar roles in the conflict, without many people being aware of what they are doing.

We can only hope, that unlike Mr Urey and Mr Healy whose stories have been catapulted into public consciousness following their capture, all of their efforts continue to go unnoticed until they are safely back on home ground.


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