Human trafficking ring coerced Cubans into fighting for Russia in Ukraine, Havana says

5 September, 12:00 PM
Russian troops (Photo:Sergey Pivovarov/Reuters)

Russian troops (Photo:Sergey Pivovarov/Reuters)

Cuba has uncovered a human trafficking ring that coerced its citizens into fighting for Russia in the war in Ukraine, news agency Reuters reported on Sept. 5, referring to a statement from the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

The Reuters reports said the Cuban authorities were working to "neutralize and dismantle" the network.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry statement gave few details, but noted the trafficking ring was operating both within the Cuba, and in Russia, Reuters wrote.

Russia has been trying to recruit foreigners to fight in its war against Ukraine in order to avoid having to announce another wave of mobilization ahead of the Russian presidential elections scheduled for 2024, UK intelligence said in its daily Ukraine situation report on Sept. 3.

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Russia has been recruiting migrants from Central Asia to participate in combat operations in Ukraine, promising them expedited citizenship and a salary of up to $4,160, UK intelligence said.

Russia plans to recruit an additional 400,000 contract soldiers following its failed winter/spring offensive in Ukraine, during which it suffered significant losses in manpower, news agency Bloomberg reported on March 24.

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