Middle Eastern volunteer fighters who are pro-Russia are heading to Ukraine to support the Russian military after Vladimir Putin gave the green light on Friday. Putin allowed Russia to deploy battle hardened militia mainly from Syria in an attempt to reduce the human toll on the Russian military.
Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said there were 16,000 volunteers in the Middle East who were ready to come to fight alongside Russian-backed forces in the breakaway Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.
Putin has been quoted as saying that “If you see that there are these people who want of their own accord, not for money, to come to help the people living in Donbass, then we need to give them what they want and help them get to the conflict zone”.
He also went on to say that the “special military operation” in Ukraine is essential to ensure Russia’s security after the United States expanded NATO up to its borders and supported pro-Western leaders in Kiev.