Afghan General Claims Russia’s Wagner Group Is Recruiting Veterans For Ukraine War
bill to: A shadowy private Russian mercenary force with close ties to the Kremlin is trying to bolster its ranks in Ukraine by recruiting US-trained Afghan commandos and other security forces who fled to Iran after the Taliban took over Afghanistan. A former Afghan general said, according to a media report.
About 15 former Afghan commandos have already joined the Russian paramilitary group Wagner Group, and thousands more have been recruited by Iran to fight in Ukraine, according to a former Afghan Defense Ministry official and Afghanistan’s commander, General Abdul Rauf Arghandiwal. Can be recruited. Elite 207 Zafar Army Corps, RFE/RL reported.
“[Wagner’s] The plan is to recruit 1,000 people in the first phase and 1,000 people in the second phase as battalions and continue the process gradually,” Arghandiwal told RFE/RL.
“There is no word on their fate, and there is no confirmation from Kyiv or anywhere else that Afghan troops have reached the battlefield in Ukraine,” Arghandiwal said of the commandos who joined Wagner. are
Russia initially captured large swaths of Ukraine after its full-scale invasion in February, but suffered significant troop and territorial losses due to months of bilateral retaliation by Ukraine.
The setbacks, which have left Russia scrambling to hold the line in parts of southern and eastern Ukraine it claims as its own, have prompted the Kremlin to offer a military draft and Wagner and The Chechen military has been forced to increasingly rely on mercenaries. replenishing his depleted forces.
Arghandiwal said he was personally informed of the recruitment drive by “hundreds” of his ex-servicemen.
“Russian, through the Wagner Security Company and with the support of the host country [Iran]where the majority of Afghanistan’s security and defense forces are. [now] is located, as well as some Afghans who previously went to Iran and Russia, are trying to recruit commandos,” he said, RFE/RL reported.
He said former members of the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, and other former security forces are next in line to be recruited to fight in Russia and then Ukraine.
Tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers and security personnel were trained by the U.S. military during the nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan that ended in August 2021 after foreign forces stormed Kabul and the Taliban retook power.
Fearing retaliation by the Taliban, many members of the Afghan army, police, as well as soldiers and intelligence officers loyal to the ousted government fled to Iran, Pakistan and other countries.
The U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported in May that even before the fall of Kabul, “about 3,000 Afghan security forces, ranging from high-ranking officers to infantrymen, had abandoned their military equipment and crossed the border with vehicles. into Iran,” although many returned to Afghanistan after the Taliban offered amnesty, RFE/RL reported.