The Russian army kept shelling the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, killing three people and wounding another two, Ukrainian officials said


  • One Asian migrant said an officer at the migration department attempted to recruit him to the Russian military
  • He was offered permanent residency on top of monthly compensation
  • Russia had also attempted to recruit Central Asian citizens in August 2022

Recruiters for the Russian military are now targeting Asian migrants to join Moscow's troops in the war in Ukraine, according to a report.

Foziljob Umarov, a Tajik migrant who is renewing his Russian residency permit, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) that an officer at the migration department offered him permanent residency and a monthly payment of $3,000 if he joined the Russian army.

"She said if I became a contract soldier I'd no longer need a residency permit or a work permit and could get a Russian passport after six months of military service. I would also earn about $3,000 a month," he claimed.

Umarov noted that the officer he spoke with knew how to speak his language. However, he added that he was unsure if the migration office hired ethnic Central Asian clerks to speak with Central Asian clients.

"She spoke Tajik with me. I don't know if they hired a Tajik employee specifically to speak to Tajik migrants, and Uzbek clerks for Uzbeks, etc," he continued.

This is not the first time Russia is reported to be attempting to recruit Central Asians to the military amid its war in Ukraine. In August last year, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF) said the Russian army is offering money and citizenship to Central Asian citizens.

The UAF General Staff also said Moscow urged military commissioners in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to use "agitation measures" to recruit residents to join the Russian army.

Apart from Central Asian residents, the Russian army was also accused of forming four battalions made up of local men from Chechnya kidnapped by Chechen security forces. These battalions, according to Ukraine, were also supposed to be deployed to the war.

Russia's recruitment efforts come as Moscow continues to see an increase in its military losses as the war approaches its 14th month. Estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine put Russia's military losses at 183,130 as of Tuesday. The figures include 470 soldiers who were killed over the past day.

Additionally, the estimates also said that Russia has lost over 3,600 tanks, 7,000 combat armored machines, 2,800 artillery systems, 2,300 UAVs and 5,600 vehicles and fuel tanks.

Putin has issued thinly veiled warnings that Russia could use nuclear weapons if threatened