The army of Asians hired by the Kremlin to fight in Ukraine in exchange for citizenship

Of Fabrizio Dragosei

The hunt for immigrants from Central Asia who are out of work due to sanctions: “Join the Russian Army, go to fight in Ukraine and in three months you get citizenship and the right of permanent residence”

Other than a super-technological army, with military almost scientists able to use very sophisticated precision instruments. Dozens of sites denounce a practice that leads back to the Divisions sent to slaughter during the First World War. The hunt for young immigrants from Central Asia is underway in Moscow and in the largest cities of RussiaAnd

that thousands find themselves unemployed due to the sanctions

Fighting in exchange for Russian citizenship

“Join the Russian Army, go to fight in Ukraine and in three months you get citizenship and the right of permanent residence,” say recruiters who also roam the subway stations, according to some human rights defenders such as Valentina Chupik who spoke to the Russian media. Tajiks and Uzbeks above all, but also Kyrgyz. Last year, nearly eight million people from the three poorest countries of the former Soviet republics were in Russia on business. Now that shops and businesses are closing, many are desperate for any paid business that will allow them to continue sending rubles (even if devalued) home. For Kyrgyzstan, for example, emigrant remittances are worth almost a third of the economy.

The latest news on the war in Ukraine

50 thousand rubles monthly

In the capital, some recruiting tents have appeared in different squares. Officially it’s not about the army but about the “Voluntary forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic”one of the two regions that rebelled in Kyiv in 2014. Then there are organizations that instead seem to operate in favor of official military structures, such as the UzMigrant site. The director of the company that manages it, Bakhrom Ismailov, promises in a video in Uzbek: “The contract service as an actual Russian allows anyone to obtain citizenship in three months.” News from Dushanbè, Tashkent, and Bishkek say that many young people with dual citizenship are fleeing Russia precisely to avoid being recalled. But others, even not very young, are already in Ukraine. A video that has been circulating since the start of the “Special Military Operation” on Telegram shows a 50-year-old Uzbek in a camouflage suit claiming to have been recruited for his experience in Afghanistan. The man allegedly drove a truck to the front. On Radio Liberty Uzbek confirmed that he had been hired with a salary of 50 thousand rubles a month (today 420 euros) and the promise of citizenship: «We are in many of my country here. And then there are the Tajiks. We have a contract ».

Putin’s failed goal

In recent years, Putin has made the state spend billions of euros for transform the old Red Army of mostly conscripts (up to four million) into an army of well-trained professionals and well equipped. A result that does not seem to have been achieved, given what is happening in Ukraine. “Most of the money was stolen and invested in yachts anchored in CyprusFormer Yeltsin-era Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev commented in recent days. The Kremlin itself admitted that several conscripts ended up “by mistake” at the front which certainly have not proved very useful. And thousands of Central Asian kids hired on the street and quickly dispatched to a combat zone, they could serve no other purpose than to constitute what was once called “cannon fodder.”

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