NewsRussia's recruitment strategy targets economically disadvantaged countries, revealing Kremlin's military dependence on foreign soldiers

Russia's recruitment strategy targets economically disadvantaged countries, revealing Kremlin's military dependence on foreign soldiers

More and more often on the front, you can encounter such "Russian" soldiers.
More and more often on the front, you can encounter such "Russian" soldiers.
Images source: © PAP

4:33 PM EST, February 12, 2024

This issue was brought to light by Anton Heraszczenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian foreign minister. In late 2023, he shared a social media post featuring a video in which a Nepalese man was seen combating alongside the Russians in Zaporozhye.

An individual who the Ukrainians detained admitted to being recruited after acquiring a student visa to Russia.

He revealed that recruiters convince Nepalese citizens that the war will soon conclude, offering a chance for them to earn money and acquire Russian citizenship. Interestingly, it has been observed that recruitment for the Russian army also occurs within Nepal itself.

In the case of the detained individual from Sierra Leone, he confessed to the Ukrainians that the Russians lured him with promises of attaining Russian citizenship and employment in a gold and diamond mine.

The Russian army's dependence on foreign recruits

It's been known for about a year that recruiters are seeking foreigners. Human rights advocates have pointed out this issue, stressing that the targets include, among others, migrant workers from Central Asia. Similarly, individuals from Africa and the Middle East are being conscripted as well.

Many are enticed by the Kremlin's embellished promises about income opportunities and the chance at citizenship. However, in the Russian army, they are often considered expendable, paying a heavy price for their service.

Foreign individuals are also frequently coerced into recruitment by the Wagner Group. They often pursue their recruitment efforts in Russian prisons - promising freedom in exchange for service. Such was the case for Nemes Raymond Taremo from Tanzania, who tragically lost his life on the frontlines a mere few weeks after joining the Wagner Group. His family went through great lengths to retrieve the 37-year-old's body and return it to Tanzania. Their mourning period was marked by protests and threats from the Russian Embassy of a potential international scandal.

The challenge that developing nations, sometimes referred to as the 'Global South', face, is a lack of balanced information.Often, the single narrative they receive stems from Russia - one that glorifies the merits of enrolling in their army. If these countries were aware that such recruitment usually results in an irreversible loss, they might reconsider believing in Kremlin's promising allure.

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