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UK Intelligence explains why Russia sending thousands of migrants to frontlines

UK Intelligence explains why Russia sending thousands of migrants to frontlines Photo: Thousands of migrants sent to the front (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Moscow is sending thousands of migrants from Central Asia to the war with Ukraine in order not to recruit more politically active people into the army, according to the UK Ministry of Defense.

Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum on June 27, 2024, the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Oleksandr Bastrykin, stated that the Russian authorities have identified 30,000 migrants who have recently become Russian citizens and are not on the military register.

Bastrykin also boasted that 10,000 of them have already been sent to Ukraine. He claimed that these migrants would dig trenches and perform other duties in the rear areas.

According to UK intelligence, Russian independent media have previously reported that security forces are waging a campaign of legal harassment against migrants, particularly from Central Asia, in an attempt to entice them to join the Russian army in exchange for citizenship or avoid arrest on trumped-up charges.

"This is likely yet another inventive means of bolstering military recruitment while attempting to limit the impact on those parts of the Russian population that have greater political agency," the UK Ministry of Defense notes.

Kremlin seeks to avoid a second wave of unpopular mobilization after the appeal of 300,000 Russians in September 2022 provoked panic and flight from the country. Instead, the government tries to lure people into the army with money.

In addition, Moscow is trying to force immigrants to fight. According to the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia Oleksandr Bastrykin, the security forces have already caught more than 30,000 such citizens who have received citizenship, but do not want to enter the military register, put them on the register.