Putin Gives Green Light to Recruit Middle East Fighters in Ukraine Invasion

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given a green light to bring in 16,000 volunteer fighters from the Middle East to take up arms to help Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking at a Russian Security Council in Moscow, Putin said those who wanted to “volunteer to fight alongside Russia forces should be allowed to.”

Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu who was also speaking in the council, said there were 16,000 volunteers in the Middle East ready to fight alongside Russia-backed forces.

“If you see that there are these people who want to be there of their own accord, not for money, to come to help the people living in Donbas, then we need to give them what they want and help them get to the conflict zone,” Putin told the council.

Putin also accused the west for recruiting mercenaries from all over the world and sending them to Ukraine to fight against Russian forces.

“We see that they do not hide it, the Western sponsors of Ukraine, the Ukrainian regime, do not hide hiring mercenaries, they do it openly, ignoring all norms of international law,” Putin added.

Putin said Moscow will continue with its “special military operation” in Ukraine, terming it essential to ensure Russia’s security after the US expanded NATO up to its borders and supported pro-western leaders in Kyiv.

According to UN figures, 549 civilians have been killed and 957 injured since the start of Ukraine invasion on 24 February.  

Another 2.3 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries so far, the UN refugee agency said.

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