Russia Likely to Force Migrants to Fight in Ukraine

A warning sign about the border zone between Finland and Russia, in Savukoski, northern Lapland, Finland (Photo: JIP / Wikimedia Commons)

In order to fuel its war in Ukraine, Russia is attempting to enlist foreign migrants who were recently apprehended at its border with Finland, BBC reported.

The British broadcaster claims to have seen evidence of several instances in which foreign nationals were detained for breaking immigration regulations and then quickly taken to a military camp close to the Ukrainian border. Although forcing individuals to sign contracts for army service in Ukraine is not a novel practice in pre-deportation detention centers, the number of cases increased as more foreign migrants arrived at Russia’s border with Finland.

Just a few weeks ago Helsinki announced to temporarily close all eight of its border crossings with Russia, accusing Moscow of directing migrants and asylum seekers there as part of a destabilization campaign.

Russian Military Recruitment Trickery

Analysis of court proceedings in Karelia, one of the three Russian regions that borders Finland, revealed that 236 people had been detained in the previous three weeks for remaining in Russia without proper visas and were scheduled to be deported.

The situation in Leningrad and Murmansk, the other two border regions, was similar, according to the BBC.

Russia Meddling With Migration is Nothing New

News from the Finnish border come months after the Polish government accused Russia of trying to get its fighters to the EU disguised as migrants to cause disruptions.

In July, then-Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that more than 100 members of the infamous Wagner mercenary group had moved to north-western Belarus near the Suwalki gap – Poland’s border with European Union member state Lithuania, which separates Belarus and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

He claimed the troops might pose as Belarusian border guards in order to help migrants cross into the EU, or even pretend to be migrants themselves to enter the bloc.

At the time, Poland’s interior minister said Poland, Lithuania and Latvia could jointly decide to shut their borders with Belarus if there were incidents involving the Wagner group along their frontiers.

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