Threatening with deportation: foreign students are being massively recruited into the army in Russia
Russia has a mechanism for recruiting foreign students for the war against Ukraine. Chinese, Nepalese, Uzbeks, Egyptians, Moldovans, and Sri Lankans are being recruited to serve.
The main motivation of such mercenaries is financial. This was reported by the National Resistance Center on its website.
The NRC noted that in recent years, foreigners fighting on the side of Russia have often been included in the Ukrainian plan.
"During conversations with such prisoners of war, a number of factors were identified that point to an organized scheme to persuade foreign students to sign a contract with the Russian Armed Forces," the press service said.
Around Moscow's higher education institutions, in particular the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, there are active advertisements for contract military service.
Group supervisors and Russian students who are supposed to help foreigners with acclimatization and education tell them about the financial support of the Russian military. If a foreign student has problems with money or an urgent need for it (tuition fees, medical treatment, etc.), they are persuaded to go to the military enlistment office.
"Often, these students are sent to steal money from them to create a sense of hopelessness and despair. Then they are blackmailed with the threat of deportation," the NRC wrote.
Moreover, foreign students are targeted with targeted advertising on social media (YouTube, Tik-Tok) about serving in the occupation army. The main financial argument is the opportunity to earn money for further education and living in Russia.
Foreigners are trained on the basis of the Avangard military-patriotic training center located in the Patriot military park in Moscow.
"The Avangard Center was founded by the governments of Moscow and Moscow Region with the support of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The idea of its creation was personally supported by dictator Vladimir Putin to promote military and civil service among young people.
Formally, it is under the jurisdiction of the Moscow City Department of Education and Science, the Moscow Region Ministry of Education. Military training for young people aged 14-17 is regularly held on the territory of Avangard. This is also a cover for training foreigners there.
On average, about 300 foreigners study there at any one time. Many of them speak Russian poorly, so they are taught gestural commands and keywords.
The foreigners are given combat missions by Russian officers and sergeants. They lead them to the battlefield, but return to rear positions themselves.
Foreigners in the Russian army are treated with disdain, carelessness, and are not particularly protected. Their situation is comparable to units formed from prisoners.
The Center for National Resistance called for the dissemination of relevant information about potential threats to foreigners who are still studying or intend to pursue higher education in Russia.
"Residents of the temporarily occupied territories, in case of contact with such persons, are advised to inform them about the possibility of surrendering to the Ukrainian Defense Forces, where they will be guaranteed proper treatment as prisoners of war in accordance with international humanitarian law," the NRC summarized.
As OBOZ.UA previously reported, the National Resistance Center said that Cubans, Nepalese, Belarusians, and Serbs have been repeatedly spotted in the Russian Armed Forces. Recently, mercenaries from Malaysia, accompanied by an interpreter, as well as former Wagnerites, were spotted in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas.