Russia has detained migrants trying to cross the border into Finland and is trying to recruit them into the Russian army, BBC News Russian reported on Wednesday.

A Somali citizen named Avad told reporters that he and several other foreigners were arrested for expired visas and pressured to join the military under threat of deportation. Human rights activists have reported receiving similar statements from other migrants.

According to Avad, he first came to Russia from Somalia in July 2023. At first he tried to enter Poland from Belarus, but when this attempt failed, he decided to go to St. Petersburg and from there try to enter Finland.

On the way to the Finnish border, Avad was arrested by Russian law enforcement agencies. After a court ordered his deportation, he was taken to a migrant detention center in the city of Petrozavodsk. When “men in uniform” came to the detention center and offered Avad and eleven other foreigners jobs to “work for the state” instead of being deported, several of them accepted the offer.

Afterwards, according to Avad, everyone who agreed was transported under military guard to a tent camp on the border with Ukraine. When they realized where they had been sent, they demanded to break the contracts they had signed and be deported instead. After authorities tried for several weeks to persuade them to stay, Avad said, the migrants were told they would be returned to the detention center and deported.

Naturalized and mobilized Russia’s covert efforts to recruit its new citizens are frightening migrant communities

Naturalized and mobilized Russia’s covert efforts to recruit its new citizens are frightening migrant communities

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Source : meduza.io

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