Russian army recruiting forces from Central Asian countries - Ukraine

Foreign recruits are being offered financial incentives, as well as Russian citizenship, if they enlist in the Russian Armed Forces.  

 Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the Russian Land Forces Oleg Salyukov drive Aurus cabriolets during a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA)
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the Russian Land Forces Oleg Salyukov drive Aurus cabriolets during a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA)

Russia’s military is running enlistment campaigns in Central Asian countries Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as the number of Russians willing to fight in Ukraine decreases, Ukraine's intelligence service (GUR) claimed.

Foreign recruits are being offered financial incentives, as well as Russian citizenship if they enlist in the Russian Armed Forces.  

Additionally, GUR purports that young men from rural areas in Chechnya, Russia are being kidnapped by Ramzan Kadyrov's Chechen forces and forced to fight in service of Russia’s war efforts in Ukraine – causing discontent among Chechen citizens, who GUR says are outraged by the fact that Kadyrov is sending Muslims to participate and die in a "foreign" war.  

Russia’s foreign mercenaries

 Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (R) and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visit the Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province, Syria December 11, 2017 (credit: SPUTNIK/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS) Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (R) and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visit the Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province, Syria December 11, 2017 (credit: SPUTNIK/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)

Russia has reportedly been using mercenaries from Libya and Syria in their initiatives in Ukraine, according to the US Defense Department. The transcript quotes a senior defense official saying that the Wagner Group militia "has been operating in the Donbas and that they have recruited from places like Syria and Libya and that they use Syrian and Libyan fighters."

GUR also reported in March that Syrian President Bashar Assad has promised to provide up to 40,000 militants to the Russian Federation for the war in Ukraine.