Korean YouTuber & Former Soldier Lands in Ukraine to Volunteer to Fight for Ukraine


As the situation in Ukraine worsens, the rest of the world can only watch and send prayers for the safety of Ukrainians.

But a former Korean soldier just put all of us to shame—by volunteering to fight for Ukraine despite his government’s travel ban to the country.

Determined to Travel to Ukraine

Ken Rhee, a popular South Korean YouTuber and former Korean navy seal, has landed in Ukraine to fight as a volunteer soldier.

On Monday, the 37-year-old first announced his decision to fight for Ukraine in an Instagram post.

Rhee said that he and his travel mates had initially considered departing for the country “through official procedures”.

“But we felt strong opposition from the Korean government, and there was some friction,” noting that he was “threatened” with “being treated as a criminal” if he ignored Korea’s travel ban to Ukraine.


“But punishment cannot stand still in this situation without helping Ukraine with the skills, knowledge, and expertise we have,” he continued in the post which featured the backs of three men.

While it is unclear who Rhee left the country with, his determination to go to Ukraine is crystal clear.

“If I return alive, then I will take responsibility for everything and receive the punishment I’m given.”

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Korean Foreign Ministry Responds

Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that it was aware that “Koreans including Ken Rhee” have departed the country to join the Ukrainian volunteer army.

“To protect the lives and safety of citizens, as of 13 February, the government has issued a Level 4 travel warning throughout Ukraine and has banned Korean citizens from travelling to Ukraine,” it said.

It added that anyone who enters Ukraine without authorization may be subject to a year in prison or a fine of up to 10 million won (about $8,150). They would also be required to return their Korean passports and could face challenges applying for a replacement, it said.

Unconcerned About Losing Passport

However, Rhee did not seem too concerned by the “threat”.

Not one to mince his words, he wrote in another Instagram post addressed to the Foreign Ministry, “My team has arrived safely in Ukraine. Rather than waste time seeking to invalidate our passports, think about how you can support.”

Later, Rhee shared several more posts on the platform, including a picture of a military tent and one of himself in protective gear sitting next to a dog.

“During the Korean War, the world helped Korea,” he said. “Now, we will help Ukraine. We cannot just stand by and watch innocent people get hurt and die.”

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