Tuesday, May 17, 2022
HomeWorldRussia Ukraine War: Putin approves 'volunteer fighters' to Ukraine

Russia Ukraine War: Putin approves ‘volunteer fighters’ to Ukraine

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Vladimir Putin ordered volunteer fighters should be brought into Ukraine.
  • Putin told Shoigu that Russia should help would-be volunteers to “move to the combat zone”
  • Since 2015, Russian forces have backed Syrian President al-Assad against various opposition groups

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered that so-called volunteer fighters should be brought into Ukraine.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia knew of ‘more than 16,000 applications’ from countries in the Middle East, many of them from people who he said helped Russia against the Islamic State group, according to a Kremlin transcript.

They want “to take part in what they consider a liberation movement,” Shoigu said, on the side of Russia-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. Since 2015, Russian forces have backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against various groups opposed to his rule, including Islamic State.

Putin told Shoigu that Russia should help would-be volunteers to “move to the combat zone” and contrasted them with what he called foreign “mercenaries” fighting for Ukraine.

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