In Russia, there is an organized system of recruiting foreign students for war with Ukraine, revealed the Ukrainian government military website of the Center for National Opposition. The “guardians” take advantage of the difficult financial situation of foreigners to trick them into serving in the army. Foreign students are also deliberately robbed to make them feel desperate.
Such practices take place especially at universities in Moscow, including: at the University of Friendship of Nations. “Guards” of foreign students and Russian students, who – in theory – are supposed to help foreigners in organizational matters, tell the newcomers about the attractive financial conditions of service in the army. Their task is also to search for people in difficult financial situations and direct them to military commissariats, i.e. reinforcement commands.
Foreign students are often deliberately robbed, which is supposed to make them feel desperate – it is reported on a Ukrainian website, which cites accounts of prisoners of war captured in Ukraine.
An easy target for blackmail
As added, foreigners studying in Russia and having no means of supporting themselves become easy targets for blackmail. Such people often join the army because they face deportation.
The website of the Center for National Opposition also noted that foreign students are “spotted” thanks to specially targeted advertisements appearing, among others, on social media. Young people are convinced that military service will provide them with financing for further studies and stay in Russia.
Foreigners who have been recruited are trained in the so-called Avangard military-patriotic center in the Moscow region. This facility organizes classes for young people aged 14-17, but the facility also serves as a “cover” for training foreigners. According to the Center’s estimates, approximately 300 people from abroad practice there at the same time, mainly from… China, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Moldova and Sri Lankans. Since most of them speak little Russian, students are taught basic gestures and commands used in the army.
Sent to the front lines
When such people get to the front, they are usually sent to the front lines. Following its tradition, the Russian military treats foreigners in a disrespectful manner. The situation of foreign students is comparable to the situation of prisoners recruited to participate in the invasion of prisons – emphasized the government website.
In the previous months, there were numerous reports about Russians recruiting citizens for the war, including CubaNepal, Belarus, Serbia and the Central African Republic. Last Wednesday, the Center for National Opposition reported that mercenaries from Malaysia were also observed in the occupied areas of the Donetsk Oblast.
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