Around a thousand mercenaries have undergone training in Syria, before being granted Russian citizenship in Yakutia and dispatched to Ukraine, reports the Ukrainian military intelligence.
The arrival of mercenaries from Syria to Yakutia for further deployment to Ukraine marks a concerning development. The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence (GUR MO) released a video showing Syrian trainees near Aleppo and the Kuweires airbase joyfully displaying Russian passports, issued to them within five days of arrival in Russia.
These mercenaries are being transferred from the Russian Khmeimim airbase located in Syrian territory. Ukrainian intelligence reports that around a thousand Syrians have been recruited into the Russian Armed Forces for the conflict in Ukraine.
Moscow is reportedly carrying our this recruitment through travel agencies. Syrians are invited to Russia for sightseeing in Siberia. Then they are swiftly employed as guards at oil fields in Yakutia and subsequently shifted to higher-paying jobs in Buryatia. From there, disguised as local residents who have contracted with the Russian army, they are deployed to Ukraine.
The GUR notes that the recruitment of Syrian mercenaries highlights the Russian command’s need to replenish their forces for 'meat grinder' assaults, which native Russians are increasingly reluctant to join, put off by the substantial losses among their comrades.