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Russia allegedly forcing African students, migrants to fight for them



Russia allegedly forcing African students, migrants to fight for them

According to new report by Bloomberg, Russia is alleged to be coercing thousands of African students and migrants to join its military efforts in the ongoing war against Ukraine. The coercion includes offering visa extensions in exchange for military service and recruiting convicts from prisons.

African students and workers have faced detention and been given a choice between deportation or enlisting in the military.

Some have managed to avoid conscription by bribing officials. This forced recruitment, which has been ongoing since the early stages of the conflict, has resulted in high casualty rates among those conscripted, as they are often deployed in hazardous offensive operations.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has not responded to requests for comment on these allegations.

Meanwhile, Russia has launched a global recruitment campaign targeting 21 countries, including several African nations, to enlist foreign mercenaries with promises of lucrative bonuses and salaries.

Recruiters have also misled migrants and students with employment promises, only to force them into military training and deployment to the front lines.

Despite suffering significant losses, with the UK Ministry of Defence estimating over 500,000 Russian personnel casualties since the invasion began, and an additional 1,200 daily casualties reported in May, Russia continues its aggressive military campaign.

President Vladimir Putin has suggested Russia is losing around 10,000 troops per month, while claiming Ukrainian losses are five times higher.

In an effort to avoid full-scale mobilization and maintain public support, Putin has relied on voluntary recruitment, which has drawn tens of thousands of volunteers.

However, many of the conscripted individuals, including Nepalis and Africans, have been recruited without the knowledge of their home governments, with some being captured on the battlefield.

Ukraine’s allies are considering sharing intelligence on foreign fighters with the affected countries. Additionally, Putin has threatened “asymmetric” countermeasures against Ukraine’s Western backers as the conflict intensifies.

Despite failing to gain a decisive battlefield advantage, Russia has increased its bombing campaign against Kharkiv, aiming to render the city uninhabitable.

The international community continues to monitor the situation closely as allegations of forced recruitment and human rights violations emerge from the conflict zone.