While waiting to physically join the Legion, there are some actions a recruit can take to make themselves a more effective soldier when he gets to the front.
- Get in physical shape – There will be limited time for PT in training and virtually none at the front.
- Learn Ukrainian or Russian. Here is an excellent Survival Ukrainian Guide with audio files, by the Peace Corps. Other languages are helpful in the Legion, especially Spanish, Polish and French.
- Get financially fit – pay off any bills in advance. Get a power of Attorney for someone trusted. Make a will and have it notarized.
- Purchase the recommended equipment – While the Ukrainians will provide much of what soldiers will need, such as uniforms, body armor and weapons, there are many items not provided that recruits will need to purchase on their own. Headlamps, wrist watches, power banks, multitools, etc.
- Do yourself a favor and learn the ranks of the Ukrainian military
- Watch this video on Ukrainian culture: Ukraine Cultural Brief for Volunteers of the International Legion
- We recommend creating a SpotFund donations page (don’t use GoFundMe) to collect money to help fund your deployment. Here are a couple examples:
- Info from Polish volunteer
- Lengthy equipment list on Google Sheets
- How to live out of your bag for months, for soldiers
- Back from the front: a British volunteer in Ukraine
- An International Legionnaire’s Guide to Useful and Useless Kit
- What it is like to be shelled by the Russians
Cultural Faux Pas
- Write it Kyiv, not Kiev
- Call it Ukraine, not “the Ukraine”
- Calling borscht “Russian”
- Speaking to people, shaking hands or handing money over a threshold
- Presenting an even number of flowers
- Not taking off your shoes before entering
- Putting your hands in your lap when eating