VOLUNTEER aid workers at the Polish border have told of being "pressganged" into joining the Ukrainian military.

Ollie Funnell, from Eastbourne, is working in Medyka in southern Poland, along with ex-Army medic Carl Walsh and ex-police officer Rob Wadeley from Derbyshire.

The men raised concerns about a lack of safeguarding and said it was known that human traffickers were operating at the border and that rape victims had sought medical help in Poland.

The Argus: Aid workers are working in Medyka in southern PolandAid workers are working in Medyka in southern Poland

Ollie and Carl, who is from Wales, claimed to have been pressured into joining the Ukrainian military after being taken to a base on March 12, the day of an explosion which killed 35 people.

Father-of-five Ollie, who works as a teacher, described the situation as "chaos" and said the United Nations needed to get involved at the border as it was a safeguarding issue.

Ollie said: "There have got to be hundreds if not thousands of women and children who will go missing.

The Argus: Medyka in southern PolandMedyka in southern Poland

"The moment Russians crossed the border there should have been safeguarding, the need is here.

"There's a lot of people smuggling going on here, I'd like to say it is 95 per cent decent people but it is all about minimising the risk.

"People are taking the opportunity because one person to them might be hundreds of thousands of pounds."

Ollie raised concerns about the prospect of human traffickers preying on vulnerable women and children as well as a lack of checks on volunteers at the border.

He also said Ukrainian military chiefs had "pressganged" volunteers in a bid to send them to Kyiv.

Ollie said: "We were taken to an independent depot and told to sign for the military.

"We were told 'if you have not come to fight you are cowards', they were getting really aggressive, in the end we just got back on the bus.

"We were told if we wanted to fight, to join the army and be given 48 hours training, and we would be sent to Kyiv.

"We were there in the morning, and it got shelled in the evening. It is chaos, they promise you everything and give you nothing."

Ollie started a fundraiser to allow him to buy aid and supplies for the thousands of people fleeing the conflict.

To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/q7zesh-ukrainian-refugees

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