Russia Trying to Recruit Syrians to Fight in Ukraine

Photo credit; AFP

Russia has been trying to recruit Syrians to fight for Russia in Ukraine in order to bolster their ongoing invasion. A senior US defense official from the Pentagon said it remained unclear how many Syrians Russian President Vladimir

Putin wants to recruit overall, or how many are already there. Some news outlets have reported that Syrian mercenaries have already arrived in Russia and are preparing to enter the fight in Ukraine. 

The officials said that the Pentagon finds it noteworthy that Russia believes he needs to rely on foreign fighters. It shows that Russia is poised to expand even deeper into cities and across Ukraine, and will need foreign fighters to help take cities.

A news website in Syria, DeirEzzor24, first posted about the Russian recruitment effort. The reports said that Moscow is seeking volunteers to act as guards on six-month contracts, offering between $200 and $300 a month to go to Ukraine.

Russia has been operating inside of Syria since 2015 and entered the Syrian crisis to shore up Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces, especially his airforce. This would be the first time since Russia entered the Syrian war that Syrians were recruited to fight in a different war on behalf of Russia. Russian mercenary firm Wagner has also reportedly been equipping Syrian operatives to transfer into Ukraine. 

Russia has also deployed Chechen forces in Ukraine. Last week, the secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defense council Oleksiy Danilov alleged that a unit of Chechen special forces had been sent to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. There have not yet been signs of Belarus troops participating in the Russian invasion. 

The news that Russia is beginning to recruit foreign fighters comes as the Russian offensive continues to stall in capturing the capital city Kyiv. Senior defense officials in the U.S. said not a lot of progress has been seen in advancing on Kyiv. 

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