UK Foreign Secretary Supports Britons Going to Ukraine to Fight Russia

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss during a meeting at No 1 Carlton Gardens on February 11, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Pinney - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Rob Pinney - WPA Pool/Getty Images

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said she supports Britons going to Ukraine in order to take up arms against Russia.

Lizz Truss, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, has said in an interview that she supports British citizens making the journey to Ukraine in order to volunteer to join the war against Russia — despite the British government having previously punished those who have travelled to foreign conflict zones to fight in the past.

During an interview with the BBC, Truss said that she “absolutely” supports British citizens travelling to fight.

“The people of Ukraine are fighting for freedom and democracy, not just for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe because that is what President Putin is challenging,” the Foreign Secretary told the programme. “And absolutely, if people want to support that struggle, I would support them in doing that.”

Asked to clarify whether she really meant that she supports British people travelling abroad to fight Russia, Truss doubled down.

“Absolutely if that’s what they want to do,” she confirmed.

Truss also put great emphasis on how Britain and her allies were sending so-called “defensive weapons” to Ukraine in order to help tackle Russian forces, with the Foreign Secretary describing the conflict as “Putin’s war”.

“This is pre-fabricated, pre-ordained aggression to try and subvert a sovereign democracy and we simply cannot allow him to succeed,” Truss asserted, while also saying that she feared the Ukraine crisis would turn into a “bloody and long-running conflict”.

Despite Truss’ support for Britons looking to fight what she called the Russian “war machine”, however, the British state has previously come down hard on nationals who travelled to conflict zones in the past.

One Briton who travelled to Syria in order to fight against the Islamic State was convicted in a British court for attending a place used for terrorist training, for example, being sentenced to a four-year prison term.

This is despite the fact that the fighter joined a group seen as a central Western ally in the conflict.

The father of a different man fighting ISIS also found himself arrested under terror legislation for his suspected support of a foreign militia — backed by the West — when he sent his son a small sum of money.

 

Another British citizen who travelled to Ukraine in 2015 to volunteer with a pro-Russian militia in Donbas was also prosecuted on terrorism charges.

The man claimed he had never engaged in fighting, and instead spent his four months in the country engaged in humanitarian work.

“I accept you do not hold extremist views and you have expressed your regret for your actions,” admitted the Crown Court judge who handed down his sentence.

“There is no evidence at all that you at any stage used any violence upon anyone. There is no evidence that you actually engaged in combat,” the judge added.

Nevertheless, the man was given a custodial sentence of five years and four months.

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