Ukraine warns of the high number of Cubans fighting with Russian troops

Caribbean cannon fodder

From our Bureau of Caribbean Cannon Fodder with some assistance from our Russification of Cuba Bureau

While some Cubans risk their lives protesting in the streets of eastern Cuban towns, others fight alongside Russians in Ukraine. No one knows the exact number of Cuban mercenaries in Ukrainian trenches, but some are now prisoners of war, and Ukraine wants the world to know that Russia continues to recruit mercenaries from the third world to make up for all the young Russians that have been killed over the past two years.

Abridged from 14yMedio via Translating Cuba

The Ukrainian body that deals with prisoners of war warned this Friday of the high number of Cubans fighting with Russian troops in the war in Ukraine, and reproached the authorities of Havana for their tolerance of Russian recruitment operations on the Island.

“We see photographs and videos of the Russian side where many mercenaries from Cuba are seen,” said Petro Yatsenko, the head of the Ukrainian Committee for the Treatment of Prisoners of War. At a press conference held in Kiev, he warned of the growing number of mercenaries recruited by Russia from the so-called Global South countries.

Asked by EFE about the position of the Cuban Government in the face of Russia’s actions to attract Cuban citizens into the ranks of its Army, Yatsenko stated that Ukraine has no evidence of Havana’s official participation in this type of effort. “We cannot say that it is a (Cuban) state program, but we know that no one (in Cuba) opposes it,” said the Ukrainian official, who also said that “Russian agitators” work without restrictions in Cuba.

Yatsenko made these statements at a press conference in which eight prisoners of war from Nepal, Somalia, Sierra Leone and Cuba also participated, imprisoned by Ukrainian troops while fighting with Russian forces.

By making these testimonies public, Ukraine is hoping to prevent other citizens of low-income countries from accepting jobs in Russia or positions in the Russian Army that end up leading them to kill Ukrainians, or to being captured or dying at the front, according to Yatsenko.

According to the Ukrainian official, Russia recruits more and more mercenaries from countries in Africa, Asia and, to a lesser extent, Latin America, to make up for casualties in their ranks.

Petro Yatsenko, from the Ukrainian authority that deals with prisoners of war, said at the same press conference that Ukraine is open to negotiating the return of these fighters to their countries of origin.

2 thoughts on “Ukraine warns of the high number of Cubans fighting with Russian troops”

  1. The death rate of US civilians is higher than the US military population even during times of war. Most likely not the same for the Russian Army. Nevertheless,, I would to venture to guess that the quality of life in the Russian army is better than life in Cuba for these fellow who look very happy and well fed. Many Cubans would prefer being a POW in Ukraine to being in Cuba. At least you get food, clean water, electricity and a bed. Also they could always ask for asylum.

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