Russia recruits Crimean locals for its African proxies, Kyiv says

Russian military
Russian military

Moscow is actively recruiting so-called "military instructors" in occupied Ukrainian territories for subsequent deployment to Africa to expand its influence on the continent, Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence (HUR) reported via Telegram on Jan. 17.

This "persistent recruitment" campaign is ongoing in occupied territories of Ukraine, including Crimea. Military reservists—air defense specialists, sailors, and others—are offered lengthy, high-paying contracts. The opportunity to avoid participation in the war against Ukraine serves as another incentive to sign up, HUR notes.

Read also: Moscow trying to recruit migrants seeking asylum in Finland for espionage

“Moscow views dispatching this force to Africa as a step towards expanding its influence there,” the message said.

Read also: Sixty-one migrants, including children, feared drowned off Libya

Ukraine’s National Resistance Center reported in December 2023 that the Russian military was developing a program to recruit fighters in Africa to participate in the war against Ukraine.

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