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Ukraine MoD: Only 7% are locals in Russian “volunteer units” formed in occupied areas

Ukraine MoD’s National Resistance Center says Russian “Sudoplatova” and “Marhelova” battalions, created in Zaporizhzhia and Kherson oblasts, struggle to recruit locals, with a mere 7% local enlistment, while the majority comprises Russians and Serbs.
Russia mobilization Ukraine war
Mobilized Russian troops, Illustrative photo, TASS
Ukraine MoD: Only 7% are locals in Russian “volunteer units” formed in occupied areas

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s website, National Resistance Center, says Russia’s so-called volunteer battalions formed in occupied territories of Ukraine struggle to find local volunteers to serve in such units. 

“According to the enemy’s estimates, up to 7% of locals serve in the “Sudoplatova” and “Marhelova” battalions, which were created by collaborators in Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, respectively,” the Center wrote.

The majority of personnel in these units, according to the National Resistance Center, are comprised of Russian and Serbian mercenaries, which suggests that most residents of the occupied territories have chosen not to join Russia’s recruitment campaign into these so-called volunteer battalions.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Russia has reportedly forcefully conscripted tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens in the occupied areas to fight against their own country. Many of these conscripts were reportedly used as cannon fodder to expose Ukrainian artillery positions and to cover units recruited inside Russia.

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