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27 November 2022, 12:02 PM

African students in Russia say they are being asked to join Russia’s invasion force in Ukraine

Students from Africa studying in Russia are being pressed to join Russia’s Wagner Group mercenaries fighting against Ukraine, with threat of loss of scholarships and increased tuition fees, students from Russia’s South University of Rostov-on-Don have said.

News website the Daily Beast reported on Nov. 21 that for the last three months university officials have tried to persuade students to accept either an offer from the Russian Army to join its ranks, or a similar one from Wagner private military company.

Both organizations promised wages of from $3,000 to $5,000 for those who were willing to fight in Ukraine, while those who turned down the offers were threatened with the cancelation of scholarships and an increase in the cost of their tuition.

"There are three of them (officials at the school) who've been meeting us at our hostel and trying so hard to convince us to fight for Russia,” some Nigerian students told The Daily Beast.

“They said we can fight in Ukraine for a short time, make so much money and then return to Russia to continue our education. They have reminded us a couple of times that there are some Africans already fighting in Ukraine and earning good money."

Russian security officials and police are trying to do this as well, other students reported. They often walk up to African students in parks or on the streets with an offer to fight in Ukraine.

"Everywhere we (African students) go, people are trying to convince us to fight in Ukraine. The pressure is so much," a student of South University from Senegal said.

The students who talked with the Daily Beast said they have vowed never to join the war, but they know of other who are considering doing so as a way of resolving their financial problems.

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