Moscow's search for foreign recruits reveals is growing desperation

, 10:21, 29.01.2024
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

In Russia, foreign students are being systematically recruited to join the war effort in Ukraine, exploiting their financial vulnerabilities. University "guards" lure them with money promises.

Moscows search for foreign recruits reveals is growing desperation

Moscow's search for foreign recruits reveals is growing desperation

In Russia, there is an organized system for recruiting foreign students to participate in the war with Ukraine, as reported by the Center for National Opposition to the Ukrainian government's military portal. Foreign students' challenging financial situations are exploited to coerce them into serving in the army, particularly at universities in Moscow, such as the University of Friendship of Nations.

"Guards" composed of both foreign and Russian students, ostensibly tasked with assisting foreigners with organizational matters, inform newcomers about the attractive financial incentives of military service. Their role also includes identifying individuals in dire financial straits and directing them to military recruitment offices, known as reinforcement commands.

Recruitment tactics and financial exploitation

Foreign students are frequently subjected to deliberate exploitation, contributing to their sense of desperation, as reported by accounts from prisoners of war captured in Ukraine. Those studying in Russia without adequate financial support become vulnerable to blackmail, often opting to join the army to avoid deportation.

The military portal also highlighted that foreign students are targeted through specifically tailored advertisements, including on social media. These individuals are led to believe that military service will secure funding for their continued studies and residency in Russia.

Recruited foreigners undergo training at the Avangard military-patriotic center in the Moscow region, which, despite primarily organizing classes for youths aged 14-17, also serves as a training ground for foreign recruits. Approximately 300 foreign individuals, predominantly from China, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Moldova, and Sri Lanka, are estimated to train there simultaneously.

Given their limited proficiency in Russian, students are taught basic army gestures and commands.

Training and deployment: the plight of foreign recruits

Upon deployment to the front lines, these individuals are often assigned to combat duties. The Russian military, consistent with its past practices, reportedly treats foreign recruits with disdain. The plight of foreign students is likened to that of prisoners coerced into participating in prison riots, as highlighted by the government website.

In recent months, there have been numerous reports of Russians recruiting individuals from various countries for warfare, including Cuba, Nepal, Belarus, Serbia, and the Central African Republic. The Center for National Opposition recently reported the presence of mercenaries from Malaysia in the occupied areas of Donetsk Oblast.

#Russian Agression#Russia#Cuba

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