Minister of Veterans Affairs urges former members of the armed forces not to join the conflict in Ukraine

Veterans are urged not to travel to Ukraine to fight, in a letter sent by a minister to military charities.

It is believed that a small number of serving British servicemen went without leave to join the resistance against the Russian invasion, while veterans and Britons without combat experience also went to Ukraine.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has previously warned that those who travel to the conflict zone will not be there for “a selfie and six weeks”, but will be at war “for real”.

In an attempt to get this message across, Veterans Affairs Minister Leo Docherty has written to Armed Forces charities encouraging those tempted to travel to the war zone to focus their efforts on helping the Ukrainian people of UK.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Mr Docherty had used his letter to insist the government was not supporting the volunteers who went to fight.

Officials said he also warned veterans that those traveling to train with Russian troops “would expose themselves to significant risk by entering a conflict zone”.

Mr. Docherty said: “We know that Russia’s illegal invasion rightly evoked strong feelings of support from the Ukrainian people.

“Veterans always step in when needed, but they should channel their skills, experience and passion into legal channels of support for Ukraine and not engage in conflict.

“There are many ways for all of us to support the people of Ukraine, including donating money to charity.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss initially said she supported British joining Ukrainian forces before backtracking (Jeff Overs/PA)

There was initially confusion over the Government’s position after Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, in comments during a BBC interview on February 26, said she would “absolutely” support British nationals who have chosen to fight for Ukraine.

However, she backtracked on those comments at a press conference in the United States on Wednesday, insisting that she had “expressed her support for the Ukrainian cause” in her comments and that there are “better ways.” to contribute to the defense of Kiev.

Meanwhile, some veterans have reportedly received cold calls from private militias inviting them to join the fighting in Ukraine.

The BBC reported that the militias had scoured social media to recruit former soldiers.

In his letter, Docherty offered to support charities, through the Veterans Affairs Bureau and the Department of Defense, if they know of veterans wishing to travel to Ukraine.

Veterans whose health and wellbeing are affected by war can seek specialist support from health services, such as NHS Op Courage in England and the Veterans’ Gateway, the department said.

Officials stressed that the veterans community can donate to charities providing humanitarian aid in Ukraine, with the UK government matching £25million in public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Appeal.