The International Legion contains members from 55 countries, all fighting on the side of Ukraine, while the unit itself is part of the Armed Forces, said a spokesperson for the International Legion, Damien Magrou, at a briefing on June 13.
"We have representatives of countries from all parts of the world, all continents, even as far as Brazil, South Korea, Australia,” he said.
According to him, most of the members of the unit are citizens of the United States and the United Kingdom. Poles and Canadians are the next largest group, as well as representatives of the Baltic and Nordic states, including Finland.
Magrou also clarified that the International Legion is part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, so it is funded by the Ukrainian army.
"This applies to all living expenses, salaries of soldiers, weapons and ammunition,” he explained.
“We do collect additional funds from private donors, primarily from the West, and we spend this money — which we collect on different platforms through various intermediaries — exclusively for equipment for our soldiers, which is not included in the standard military kit issued by the Armed Forces and is necessary on the battlefield, but is not funded through Ukraine's state channels."
The spokesperson added that the salaries of the soldiers of the International Legion do not differ from those received by the Ukrainian military in the Armed Forces.
"Therefore, by definition, we cannot be mercenaries under international law,” he stated.
“Moreover, we have all the documents in accordance with Ukrainian law, which prove that we are full employees of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
On February 27, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the formation of a new unit, the International Legion for the Defense of Ukraine. It is comprised of foreign citizens who want to contribute to repelling Russian aggression.
On June 3, the Luhansk regional administration reported that the International Legion's troops had arrived in Severodonetsk. Four foreign volunteers from the Netherlands, Germany, France and Australia have already been killed in defense of Ukraine.
This statement from the International Legion comes after the capture of three non-Ukrainian nationals who took part in the defense in the defense of Mariupol - Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner, and Brahim Saadoun, by Russian puppet forces.
They have been sentenced to death for being “mercenaries”, the puppet authorities say. However, the men do not meet the qualifications of a mercenary under international law, and are full members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Their execution, as prisoners of war, would be a war crime.