Freedom of Russia is a legion of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF). It was formed in March 2022, mainly by Russian prisoners of war and volunteers who defected from the Russian army. It consists of two battalions and seeks to help protect Ukraine against the 2022 Russian invasion.
In an exclusive interview with Kyiv Post, a fighter from the legion with the call sign Caesar, said: “The legion now has over 5,000 applicants wanting to join, but we don’t accept everyone.”
He added: “There is a thorough selection process. At the beginning of the war, there were many prisoners of war, but not in the second battalion where I’m a member. Now the third battalion is being formed, which will go to the front and fight with us after training. It includes those who were recently mobilized by Russia but went over to the side of Ukraine,” he adds.
Caesar emphasized that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime and its leadership is inadvertently doing everything possible to fill the ranks of the legion.
On April 5, three servicemen from the legion held a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine. They described how they joined the legion after the Ukrainians captured them. Other fighters joined after coming to Ukraine from Russia, such as former Vice-President of Gazprombank Igor Volobuev, a native of the Sumy region of Ukraine.