Russia recruiting Cubans for war in Ukraine - details revealed

Russia recruiting Cubans for war in Ukraine - details revealed

Eight Cubans recruited by Russia for its war against Ukraine spoke up about the recruitment process that is believed to have already engaged at least 140 Cuban nationals.

That’s according to RFE/RL, which has been monitoring the situation, Ukrinform reports.

The Cubans told the CubaNet publication that before being recruited, they spoke with Vladimir Shkunov, a leading researcher with the Volga branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ History Institute, who is also a member of the government’s Expert Council.

In the summer of 2023, the said Cubans were flown to Moscow, and after signing the contracts, they were assigned to the Tula-based 106th Airborne Assault Division. According to the interlocutors of the publication, there are about 140 Cubans remaining there.

Read also: Cuba accuses Russia of recruiting its citizens for military operations in Ukraine

One of the recruited men, Fidel Hernandez, explained that Shkunov initially offered him "a good job in construction site." Later, Shkunov enquired if the Cuban considered joining the Russian army. "He said he would pay me well, and I agreed," Hernandez added.

Other recruited Cubans said they were offered a one-time payment of RUB 195,000 and a monthly allowance of RUB 204,000 for taking part in the war against Ukraine.

Russian media found out that Shkunov, the recruiter, is an admin the "Russia for Cubans" Facebook group and also heads the Ulyanovsk regional branch of the Russian-Cuban Friendship Society.

Read also: Cuba opposes participation of its citizens as mercenaries in war

As Ukrinform reported, in early September, the Cuban Ministry of Internal Affairs exposed a human trafficking network operating from Russia to recruit Cuban citizens living in Russia and even some living in Cuba, to join the Russian armed forces for the war against Ukraine.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez says his country does not allow its citizens to become mercenaries and participate in wars.

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