11:17 GMT +326 May 2019
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    Foreign volunteers demanded Ukrainian nationality in Kiev

    Going Native: Ukraine's Foreign Mercenaries Get Unruly at Migration Office

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    Foreign mercenaries carrying out operations for the Ukrainian army and the Right Sector against the fighters of the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics protested outside the Ukraine's migration offices in Kiev, demanding that their presence in Ukraine be made legal via citizenship or residency.

    Foreign mercenaries fighting for the Ukrainian armed forces and its Right Sector nationalist militia protested outside migration offices in Kiev on Friday, demanding the legal right to live in Ukraine, reported the TV channel 112 Ukraine.

    "There are currently about ten volunteer fighters at the migration office, but more are still arriving," said the TV channel early on Friday.

    "They have come to demand to be issued either Ukrainian citizenship, or temporary permission to reside on the territory of Ukraine."

    "When all the fighters have arrived, they will take their demands to the migration office."

    In December of last year, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promised Ukrainian citizenship to all mercenaries fighting in what the Ukrainian Defense Ministry labels "antiterrorist operations," against compatriots in Donbass seeking federalization.

    Since the announcement, the Ukrainian president has granted citizenship to US, Georgian and Lithuanian nationals who were appointed to positions in the Ukrainian cabinet, but has so far not afforded mercenaries the same right to remain.

    On Friday, the ultra-nationalist Right Sector militant group confirmed that its fighters were taking part in the protest, and reminded Poroshenko of his pledge:

    "At this moment we are trying to find out why they are not giving our brothers from other countries citizenship. Right Sector has complained to the State Migration Service."

    Fighters for the militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics have repeatedly asserted that they are fighting not only Ukrainian soldiers, but mercenaries speaking in foreign languages including Flemish, French, Polish and English.

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    mercenaries, Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ukraine
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