200 Dutch citizens sign up to join Ukraine’s fight against Russia
As the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) promises free train travel to refugees and the Dutch cultural sector shows its support for the people of Ukraine, the Ukrainian embassy in The Hague has seen over 200 Dutch citizens sign up to join Ukrainian civilians in their fight against Russia.
Dutch nationals volunteer for Ukraine's international legion
Over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced his plans to establish an “international legion” against Russian forces, and called on people from all around the world to volunteer and join the fight.
This plea has resulted in civilians across various countries registering with Ukrainian officials, and by Monday morning the Ukrainian embassy in The Hague had already registered over 200 volunteers, the majority of whom are of either Ukrainian or Polish origin, but there are also dozens of Dutch nationals pledging their support.
The embassy has uploaded an online form where prospective volunteers can register their details. Dutch Defence Minister Kasja Ollongren has emphasised that, while Dutch citizens joining a foreign war isn’t prohibited, the Dutch government urgently advises people from the Netherlands not to travel to Ukraine. The Ministry of Defence has also confirmed that Dutch civilians fighting in Ukraine would be committing a criminal offence.
The Netherlands shows support for people of Ukraine
Across the Netherlands, civilians and companies alike are doing what they can to show their support for the Ukrainian people. Aside from registering their interest in Zelenskyy’s international legion, people in the Netherlands have donated 10 million euros to various Dutch charities working to supply people in Ukraine with supply clean drinking water, food, and medicines.
NS is also doing its bit to help Ukrainian refugees, announcing on Tuesday that those fleeing the war will be able to travel for free on all trains in the Netherlands. “Your passport is your train ticket,” the rail company has said.
This weekend, Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova and Russian cellist Maya Fridman will come together for a special concert at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, with proceeds going towards the Giro 555 fund for Ukraine. Fedorova says the concert will "show the connecting power of music” and serve as a “call for peace.”
Elsewhere in the cultural sector, theatres, museums, cinemas, concert halls and monuments across the country will light up in the Ukrainian colours this weekend in a show of solidarity, and various institutions and venues are hosting their own charity events.
Want to know what you can do to help? Click here to find out the different ways you can support the people of Ukraine.