| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

Syrians can volunteer to fight for Russia in Ukraine: Kremlin

After President Vladimir Putin endorsed a plan to send volunteers to fight in Ukraine, the Kremlin declared Friday that fighters from Syria and the Middle East would be permitted to fight for Russia.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Russia’s military minister stated that “the majority of those who desire and beg (to fight) are citizens of Middle Eastern nations and Syrians.”

When the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, Russia was a crucial friend of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, rallying to his side in the struggle in 2015 and shifting the tide of the combat in the regime’s favor.

According to Peskov, the decision to deploy volunteer soldiers to Ukraine is legitimate, and the US is supporting moves to send mercenaries to fight alongside Kyiv’s army in Ukraine.

Late last month, Russia launched a large military campaign in Ukraine, sparking a refugee exodus to Europe and accusations of war crimes.

“If the West is so excited about the coming of mercenaries, we have volunteers who want to help,” Peskov told media.

Putin earlier Friday endorsed plans to enable foreign volunteers to fight in Ukraine, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said more than 16,000 volunteers, largely from the Middle East, have applied to join the military action.

Ukraine has announced the formation of international volunteer contingents that will be integrated into its military forces in order to combat Russian forces on its soil.

  • AFP