The Russian government has offered volunteers from Syria between $200 and $300 to fight in its ongoing military onslaught in Ukraine.
Syrian-based medium, Deir Ezzor reported exclusively that Russia had offered money to volunteers “to go to Ukraine and operate as guards” for six months at a time.
“Deir Ezzor 24 received exclusive information that Russia had instructed to open the door for volunteering for a period of six months, to go to Ukraine and operate as guards, with salaries ranging between 200 and 300 USD, in addition to recruiting mercenaries with wide privileges,” the report said.
The Wall Street Journal cited four United States officials as saying Russia was recruiting fighters from Syria with the hope that their expertise in urban combat can help take the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
At the time of filing this report, the number of Syrians recruited is uncertain, though one official told The Journal some were already in Russia preparing.
As both countries prepare for a second round of negotiations, Ukraine still remains within the control of President Volodmyr Zelensky as its largest cities, Kyiv, the capital, and Kharkiv in the east, remain under government control.
The Journal report adds that Syrian recruitment by Russia points to a possible escalation of the war.
Russia has taken the city of Kherson, and Ukraine’s other cities now face an assault from Russia.
This development came as Ukraine appealed to foreigners who wanted to fight in its defence, with Mr Zelensky announcing the creation of the International Legion for anyone wanting to fight Russia in Ukraine.
“Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals,” the statement on the presidential website said.
Ukrainian officials had revealed that 3000 Americans had applied to fight.