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Ukraine embassy gets calls from people in Singapore keen to join Russia fight; MHA warns against joining the war

SINGAPORE — The Embassy of Ukraine here has received calls from persons wanting to join the fight in Ukraine, the Ministry of Home Affairs said, but the ministry warns that it is against the law for anyone in Singapore to take part in the conflict. 

Ukrainian servicemen boarding a train in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv as they depart in the direction of the country's capital Kyiv on March 9, 2022, amid the ongoing Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian servicemen boarding a train in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv as they depart in the direction of the country's capital Kyiv on March 9, 2022, amid the ongoing Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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SINGAPORE — The Embassy of Ukraine here has received calls from persons wanting to join the fight in Ukraine, the Ministry of Home Affairs said, but the ministry warns that it is against the law for anyone in Singapore to take part in the conflict. 

"We would like to highlight that it is an offence for any person, while in Singapore, to wage, attempt to wage, or abet the waging of war, against the government of any power with which Singapore is not at war," MHA said in a statement on Thursday (March 10). 

"For citizens of Singapore, in particular, even if they commit these acts while outside Singapore, they will be legally deemed to have committed them as if in Singapore and hence, liable for an offence."

Section 125 of Singapore's Penal Code states that “whoever wages war against the government of any power in alliance or at peace with the Government, or attempts to wage such war, or abets the waging of such war, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 15 years, to which fine may be added, or with fine”.

TODAY asked MHA if any of the persons in Singapore who contacted the Embassy of Ukraine were Singaporeans. On this, it said that it had no further comments.

The ministry said it is aware that the Embassy of Ukraine has "received calls from persons expressing an interest to join the International Legion for the Territorial Defense of Ukraine". 

Shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late last month, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky had established an "international" legion and publicly urged foreigners to "fight side-by-side with Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals" to show support for his country.

MHA added that Singapore has taken a "clear stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine". 

"We strongly condemn the invasion. We have called upon Russia to cease hostilities and respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine," the ministry said. 

Members of the public who wish to help Ukrainians should do so via legal channels.

"For instance, they may donate to legitimate organisations, such as the Singapore Red Cross, which are raising funds for humanitarian aid to support affected communities in Ukraine." 

Related topics

Ukraine russia MHA foreign fighters war illegal

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