The Ukrainian military on Friday said that the Russian army has recruited nearly a thousand mercenaries from Syria and they have already reached Moscow to fight in Ukraine alongside the Russian army.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in a short statement said that the “Russian occupiers, which have suffered huge losses during the war, have already recruited mercenaries from the troops under the command of (Syria’s) Bashar al-Assad regime and (Lebanese group) Hezidbollah’s so-called army.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Intelligence on Thursday said that 150 Syrian mercenaries had been transferred from the Hmeimim Air Base to Russia on Tuesday.
Moscow is planning to transfer weapons and military equipment from Syria to Russia and Belarus to use in the war against Ukraine, the army said.
Last Tuesday, the Ukrainian army revealed that Russian forces had opened two centers near the Ukrainian borders with Russia and Belarus to train mercenaries from Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had recently reported that over 40,000 Syrians have registered the names to join the Russian army to fight Ukraine.
According to the Observatory, the mercenaries would be paid between $1,500 and $2,500.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in his briefing to the Russia’s Security Council last week said that foreign volunteers who wanted to fight with Russia in Ukraine should be allowed to.
“If you see that there are these people who want 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 said.
Moreover, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday said that it would be the “worst decision” of these mercenaries to join Russian ranks against the Ukrainian army.
“We have information that the Russian military is recruiting mercenaries from other countries, trying to deceive as many young people as possible into military service,” Zelenskyy added.
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