A group of British soldiers went AWOL after they booked one-way tickets to Ukraine to fight the Russians.
The Ministry of Defence has issued a warning about their actions and ordered all service personnel to be banned from traveling to Ukraine.
The soldiers, which included a Coldstream Guardsman aged 19, travelled over the past few days.
The teenager was stationed in Windsor barracks. Before he left for Ukraine via Poland, he had written a letter of goodbye to his parents.
Since then, he has posted a picture of his boots to social media app Snapchat. The Sun reports.
The identities of the three other men are still unknown.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “All service personnel are prohibited from travelling to Ukraine until further notice. This applies regardless if the service person is on vacation or not.
“Personnel travelling to Ukraine will face disciplinary and administrative consequences.”
Around 16,000 foreigners are thought to have signed up for the Ukrainian volunteer army. 6,000 of these are from Britain.
Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said earlier this week that around 1,000 volunteer fighters from 16 countries have made the journey already, while 200 British army veterans are in the process of completing the application process.
Spokesman for the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service stated: “Patriots who have worked or temporarily lived abroad are coming to Ukraine to join the armed forces, other military formations and territorial defence forces.”
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, backed yesterday’s appeals for more volunteers to fight the battle (Wednesday March 9).
He welcomed all who would fight for their country in a televised address.
He stated: “This is the beginning of a war against Europe, against European structures, against democracy, against basic human rights, against a global order of law, rules and peaceful coexistence.
“Anyone who wants to join the defence of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals.”
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