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National Resistance Center: Russia actively recruiting Cuban mercenaries

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 26, 2023 3:04 PM 2 min read
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) and Cuba's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodriguez, shake hands during a meeting in Havana on April 20, 2023. (Ramon Espinosa /POOL /AFP via Getty Images)
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Russia is "massively" recruiting Cuban mercenaries to fight in Ukraine, the National Resistance Center claimed on Oct. 26.

Cuban fighters are allegedly involved in current fighting around Bakhmut and Kupiansk.

According to the Center, Ukrainian activists hacked into the email of a Russian military official in the city of Tula. They discovered that almost 200 Cubans had been recruited to fight in Ukraine.

An investigation conducted in collaboration with the Ukrainian open-source intelligence outfit InformNapalm revealed the identities and immigration information of Cubans allegedly traveling to Russia to fight in Ukraine.

Cuban authorities have also verified that its citizens have been involved in Russia's war on Ukraine. The Cuban Foreign Affairs Ministry discovered a human trafficking ring recruiting people to fight for Russia in September 2023.

The ministry said at the time that they "firmly reject" those recruitment attempts.

However, Cuba’s ambassador to Russia, Julio Antonio Garmendia Peña, later added, "We have nothing against Cubans who just want to sign a contract and legally take part in this operation with the Russian army.”

Russia has tried to avoid officially calling for a new round of mobilization ahead of the presidential election in the coming months. Instead, it has opted to try and recruit, sometimes forcefully, foreigners and migrants.

Russian top official suggests revoking citizenship of migrants who refuse to fight against Ukraine
A proposal that would deprive migrants who had recently received Russian passports of their citizenship if they refused to take part in Russia’s war against Ukraine was suggested by Russia’s Investigative Committee Head Alexander Bastrykin, according to a press release on Oct. 19.
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