syrian volunteers sign up russian war in ukraine

Syrian volunteers sign up en masse for Russian invasion in Ukraine/ Source: 


Edited by: Kate Ryabchiy

Editor’s Note

Russia is making it easier for foreign volunteers, such as citizens of Syria, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Iran, to join the Russian military. However, Kyrgyz and Uzbek-origin immigrants may face criminal charges back home. This indicates experienced challenges in soldier recruitment and Moscow’s state of desperation in finding more bodies.

In an effort to replenish the dwindling ranks of the Russian army fighting in Ukraine, Moscow is making it easier for persons with dual citizenship to be drafted and serve. Additionally, it is also making it more straightforward for those with citizenship in other countries. They can volunteer for service in the Russian military.

north korea offered russia volunteers war in ukraine

North Korea has offered Russia 100,000 volunteers for the war in Ukraine/ Source:

As a result, Anatoly Tsyganok, a retired colonel and the head of the Moscow-based Center for Military Forecasting, says that “residents of Syria, Afghanistan, North Korea or Iran” could soon serve in the Russian military.

Russia recruiting Afghan commandos for Ukraine war – Foreign Policy

He claims that in March, some in the defense ministry estimated that “more than 16,000” foreign volunteers in the Middle East alone wanted to join the Russian military.

syrian fighters support russia

Syrian urban combatants rally in support of Russia/ Source:

However, far greater numbers are anticipated to join the Russian military due to three additional changes to Russian law.

  1. First, Moscow can now draft residents of the Russian Federation with dual Russian-non-Russian citizenship.
  2. Second, it promises to expedite the citizenship process for CIS who serve in the Russian military.
  3. And third, it is removing many restrictions on foreign volunteers, which is reportedly unpopular with many commanders. They fear that an influx of such persons into the Russian ranks will result in a decline in unit cohesion. It can even open conflicts, as has already occurred.
migrants call serve russian military

“Peoples service.” Migrants are called to serve in the Russian military/ Source: photo by Evgeny Epanchintsev/TASS

Another constraint to this program is that some countries, including Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, from which many immigrants in Russia originate, have already warned their nationals that they will face criminal penalties. The penalties will be imposed if they participate in foreign government’s, in particular Russian military operation.

But the most critical aspect of this report is that it demonstrates just how difficult it is for the Russian authorities to raise forces through traditional means. For instance, it is challenging to draft and maintain the spirit of volunteerism among Russians. Additionally, Moscow is extremely eager now to do whatever it takes to find more bodies.

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Edited by: Kate Ryabchiy
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