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Russia sending Nigerians, other African students to war in exchange for visa renewal

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Russia has been accused of forcing thousands of migrants and foreign students, particularly from Africa, to fight in its war against Ukraine in exchange for visa renewals.

Bloomberg reports that the assessment was done by some European officials who alleged that the Kremlin is using foreign students as extra manpower.

The report added that Russia has been threatening not to extend the visas of African students and young workers unless they agree to join the military, according to officials familiar with the development.

Also, Moscow has been enlisting convicts from its prisons while some Africans in Russia on work visas have been detained and forced to decide between deportation or fighting, one European official said.

Some of those people had been able to bribe officials to stay in the country and still avoid military service, said the official, who doesn’t want to be quoted.

According to reports citing Ukrainian intelligence, Russia has engaged in a global recruitment drive to enlist foreign mercenaries in at least 21 countries, including several nations in Africa.

Army recruitment campaigns offer lucrative signing bonuses and salaries for those who’ll join up as contract soldiers.

While recruiters have also targeted migrants and students who previously looked for employment in Russia, and in some cases have lured others over with promises of lucrative work before forcing them to train and deploy to the front.

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