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Russia sending Nigerians, other African students to war for visa renewal – Report

Russia has allegedly been sending thousands of migrants and foreign students to fight alongside its troops in the war against Ukraine, according to reports.

The move is seen as a tactic to add extra manpower to the war effort, and is reminiscent of the tactics used by the Wagner mercenary group.

According to Bloomberg, the Kremlin has been threatening not to extend the visas of African students and young workers unless they agree to join the military.

In addition, Russia has been enlisting convicts from its prisons and forcing some Africans in Russia on work visas to decide between deportation or fighting.

The report also suggests that Russia’s practice of sending migrants and students into battle under duress dates back to earlier in the war.

Those troops suffer especially high casualty rates due to their deployment in risky offensive maneuvers to protect more highly trained units.

The Russian government has not commented on the allegations, but Ukraine has reported an uptick in the number of foreign fighters among its prisoners, including Africans and Nepalis.

The development has raised concerns among European officials, who fear that Russia’s ability to mobilize large numbers of troops could become a significant factor in the war.

Russia’s recruitment efforts have been global, with reports of mercenaries being enlisted in at least 21 countries, including several nations in Africa.

The Russian military has also been accused of targeting migrants and students who previously looked for employment in Russia, and in some cases luring others over with promises of lucrative work before forcing them to train and deploy to the front.

The development comes as Russia continues to struggle on the battlefield, with high casualties reported on both sides.

Despite this, President Vladimir Putin has resisted a full-scale mobilization, instead opting for a voluntary recruitment drive that has attracted tens of thousands of people.

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