NewsSri Lanka battles Russian recruitments of citizens for the Ukraine war

Sri Lanka battles Russian recruitments of citizens for the Ukraine war

They want to limit their citizens' travel to Ukraine. They are being recruited by Russians.
They want to limit their citizens' travel to Ukraine. They are being recruited by Russians.
Images source: © PAP | Mykola Kalyeniak

5:44 AM EDT, May 31, 2024

Russia is recruiting citizens of many countries to fight in Ukraine. They are being enticed with false promises of high wages and benefits. The authorities in Colombo have decided to take action, including sending a delegation to Moscow and bringing citizens back to the country.

The authorities in Sri Lanka have decided to tighten controls in connection with the recruitment of the country's citizens to fight in Ukraine. Sri Lankans are being enticed by Russia with false promises of high wages and benefits that have little to do with reality. In June, the authorities in Colombo plan to send a delegation to Moscow.

According to, the delegation will take actions to "bring back dozens of Sri Lankans already fighting in the front line who want to come home." Some of them are injured, said Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya.

This problem is also being faced by India and Nepal. They are raising alarms that Russia is recruiting men to fight in Ukraine, enticed by visas, high wages, and university spots.

The Russian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Levan S. Dzhagaryan, said at a press conference on May 30 that his embassy will cooperate to stop Sri Lankans from illegally traveling to Russia. He stated that his government was not involved in the recruitment offers.

Some people have taken loans to go and aren’t able to pay them back. They are facing many hardships and we want to find a way to bring them back, he added.

455 families filed complaints to the government. The scale of the problem may be even larger

The families of Sri Lankans who traveled to Russia have filed 455 complaints to the government in Colombo. Diplomatic representatives indicate that the number of people who traveled to Ukraine to fight on Russia's side may be significantly more significant.

According to data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at least 37 Sri Lankan citizens have been injured in Ukraine, and 16 are missing. Online recruitment campaigns were tempting for many, especially since Sri Lanka is trying to emerge from the worst financial crisis in over seven decades. Poverty rates have doubled compared to pre-pandemic levels.

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