NEWS

Russia Forces Students From Nigeria, Africa To Fight In Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on June 8 that Russian troops had been unsuccessful in their Kharkiv Oblast offensive.

By Johnson Atoukudu

Russia has bolstered its forces for the offensive in Kharkiv Oblast, compelling “thousands of migrants and foreign students,” potentially including Nigerians, to join its troops in the conflict against Ukraine, as per a June 9 Bloomberg report citing unnamed European officials.

Beginning on May 10, Moscow launched a fresh offensive in Kharkiv Oblast, advancing reportedly up to 10 kilometers (6 miles) before being stopped by Ukraine near the first defensive line.

President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on June 8 that Russian troops had been unsuccessful in their Kharkiv Oblast offensive.

According to Bloomberg, Russian authorities have been coercing African students and young workers to join the military by threatening not to renew their visas. This strategy was initially employed by the Russian Wagner mercenary group.

While Russia has also conscripted prisoners, some African workers with visas have been detained and given the ultimatum of deportation or military service, according to Bloomberg’s European official.

“Some individuals had managed to bribe officials to stay in the country and avoid military conscription,” the report stated.

This is not the first instance of the Russian military reportedly enlisting prisoners, migrants, and foreign nationals.

Last September, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported that Russia was intensifying its efforts to recruit foreigners from neighboring countries and exploiting migrant laborers for its conflict against Ukraine.

The recruitment of foreigners and migrant workers “enables the Kremlin to secure additional personnel for its military operations in the face of increasing casualties,” the ministry noted.

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