- Russia is deploying between 10,000 and 20,000 mercenaries in Ukraine, a European official mentioned.
- Some are Syrian and Libyan fighters, although the precise breakdown of the drive remains to be unclear.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned on Monday that Russia has launched one other offensive within the Donbas area.
The Kremlin has employed between 10,000 to twenty,000 mercenaries to combat in japanese Ukraine, together with infantry fighters from Syria and Libya, a European official mentioned, in response to a number of media reviews.
The official, who spoke to reporters at a briefing in Washington on situation of anonymity, mentioned it’s troublesome to interrupt down the variety of fighters from every nation however famous that they have been all employed by the personal army firm Wagner Group, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.
“What I can tell you is that we did see some transfer from these areas, Syria and Libya, to the eastern Donbas region, and these guys are mainly used as a mass against the Ukrainian resistance,” the official mentioned.
“Regarding their capabilities, it’s infantry,” the official added, per Agence France-Presse. “They don’t have any heavy vehicles and weapons. It’s much more infantry.”
Russia has beforehand deployed Syrian fighters in Ukraine however in smaller numbers. On March 31, a number of hundred Syrian mercenaries arrived within the nation, together with troopers from a military division that labored with Russian officers supporting the Assad regime, The New York Times reported.
Last month, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu mentioned that round 16,000 volunteers from the Middle East had signed as much as combat in Ukraine. Around the identical time, Ukrainian intelligence claimed that Russia had struck a cope with Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar to recruit mercenaries, per The Kyiv Independent.
The Wagner Group, which has shut ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been helping Moscow in transporting the troopers to Ukraine, per The Guardian.
The surge in mercenary deployments comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned on Monday that Moscow has launched a renewed offensive on the Donbas area.
Russian troop morale has additionally been failing because the warfare continues, the European official mentioned, per Politico, whereas Ukrainian troopers have been inspired by the sinking of the Russian warship “Moskva.”
On Monday, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby mentioned US intelligence reveals that Russia is getting ready for additional aggressive operations in japanese Ukraine, and had bolstered its troops within the area by round 10 tactical teams.