A scheme to recruit mercenaries for the war in Ukraine on the side of the occupiers was exposed in Cuba

Sofiia Telishevska

Cuban authorities have arrested 17 people linked to a human trafficking ring that lured young Cuban men to fight for Russia in the war in Ukraine.

Reuters writes about it.

Among those who were taken into custody is the organizer of the network. The leader of the group relied on two people who lived on the island to recruit Cubans to join the fighting.

Prosecutor Jose Luis Reyes said that those detained could face imprisonment (up to 30 years or life) or the death penalty. Sentences will depend on the severity and type of crimes. So they can be charged with human trafficking, participation in hostilities as mercenaries or hostile actions against a foreign state.

Russia, which has strong political ties to communist Cuba, has long been an important destination for Cuban migrants seeking an escape from economic stagnation at home, Reuters noted.

Last year, Putin signed a decree allowing foreigners who join the Russian army to receive citizenship through an accelerated procedure.

At the same time, Cuba declares that it is not participating in the war in Ukraine and that it condemns the use of its citizens as mercenaries.