Russia is trying to attract foreigners from around the globe to serve as troops in its airborne brigades to replenish combat losses in the war against Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports.

The Russian military reportedly continues to recruit foreign volunteers to serve in relatively elite but likely degraded Russian Airborne (VDV) units,” the Oct. 3 report says.

One Russian source said that volunteers from Nepal are serving in these Russian airborne brigades.

ISW previously reported that Cuban volunteers reportedly serve in the Russian 106th Airborne Division. Subsequently, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Cuba announced the arrest of 17 people for human trafficking by coercing Cubans into fighting for Russia in Ukraine.


Earlier this year, a Russian newspaper in Ryazan city claimed several Cuban citizens had signed contracts with Russia’s armed forces and had then been taken to fight in Ukraine in return for Russian citizenship.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) officially announced the beginning of its regular fall 2023 conscription cycle on October 1.

As reported Russian casualties in its full-scale invasion steadily rise toward 300,000 killed or permanently injured, Russia may increasingly seek foreigners to augment its internal conscription.

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