Russia's Ministry of Defense has received more than 16,000 applications from volunteers from the Middle East who want to fight for the so-called "Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
Shoigu at the meeting said captured Ukrainian weapons - armored vehicles and anti-tank systems – would be transferred to the "republics" ("LPR/DPR").
Against the backdrop of the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine, Shoigu proposed to supply the "DPR" and "LPR" with air defense systems.
"We have a proposal - to ensure a higher combat capability of the fighters of the "LPR" and "DPR," to transfer to them air defense systems, in particular MANPADS, and anti-tank missile systems," Shoigu said at a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with permanent members of the Russian Security Council.
According to Shoigu, this step is necessary "against the background of the fact that there are absolutely uncontrolled deliveries of weapons, various weapons to Ukraine from all sides."
"In my opinion, no one there already counts who, where, how much is distributed, this has been said more than once today," Shoigu said about the supply of weapons to Ukraine by Western countries.
"We have accumulated a large number of weapons, Ukrainian weapons: these are tanks, armored vehicles and all types of small arms, quite a lot, and artillery. In addition, there are many Javelin and Stinger systems, which can be used there to defend their republics," the Russian Defense Minister said.
He stated that the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation received more than 16,000 applications from volunteers from the Middle East who want to fight for the "DPR" and "LPR."
"And here, of course, we consider it right to respond positively to requests, especially since these requests are not for money, but at the true desire of these people. We know many of them, they helped in the fight against ISIS (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation) in the most difficult time, in the last ten years," Shoigu said.