In Russia, students from Africa are being recruited to PMC Wagner to fight in the war against Ukraine. If they refuse, tuition may be increased and scholarships canceled.
Russian officials at the Southern Federal University (SFedU) in the city of Rostov-on-Don, near the border with Ukraine, have been pressuring African students at the institution to join Putin's forces in fighting in eastern Ukraine, three students at SFedU told The Daily Beast.
Officials at SFedU have tried to persuade them into accepting an offer from either the Russian army or the Wagner Group, claiming both are willing to pay up to $3,000 and $5,000 respectively to foreigners willing to go to war in Ukraine.
The students said some school officials have warned them that the Russian government may deny them certain privileges, including increasing tuition and canceling scholarships for some international students should they fail to take the offer.
“There are three of them (officials at the school) who've been meeting us at our hostel and trying so hard to convince us to fight for Russia,” a student from Nigeria told The Daily Beast. “They said we can fight in Ukraine for a short time, make so much money and then return to Russia to continue our education. They have met so many African students and told them that,” students say.
“Everywhere we [African students] go, people are trying to convince us to fight in Ukraine,” said the Senegalese student who has vowed never to join the war. “The pressure is so much.”
As reported, the invaders conduct another covert mobilization in Mariupol.