UKRAINE: The Ukraine National Resistance Centre (NRCU) has disclosed the presence of Malaysian mercenaries in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region.
Since 2014, substantial sections of Donetsk have been under the control of Russian forces and their allies due to Ukraine’s pro-democracy protests sparking a separatist conflict.
In a statement issued on Wednesday (24 January), NRCU reported that mercenaries from Malaysia, accompanied by a translator, as well as former “Wagner” member have been spotted in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk region.
The center said these fighters are currently stationed at a training ground.
NRCU was created in March 2022 by the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The NRCU trains, coordinates, and scales movements against the occupation of Ukraine.
The Wagner Group, previously under the control of Yevgeny Prigozhin, an erstwhile close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been implicated in various conflicts, including the Ukrainian crisis.
According to the center, the influx of foreign fighters signals Russia’s ongoing aggressive policy, aiming to sustain its influence in the region.
Notably, the center emphasized that Malaysians are not the sole foreign nationals identified in the area; Cubans, Nepalese, Belarusians, Serbs, and others have also been sighted alongside Russian armed forces.
In a stern warning, the National Resistance Centre declared that individuals aligning with Russian forces against Ukraine become military targets.
It urged local inhabitants to remain vigilant and report any intelligence regarding enemy activities.
The ongoing presence of armed groups affiliated with the Russian army, such as the Wagner mercenary force, continues to raise concerns regarding violations of international humanitarian laws in the region.
According to the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU), at least 10,000 civilians have been killed and more than 18,500 have been injured since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February 2022.
This includes more than 560 children.
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