According to a journalistic investigation by MediaHub in July, the private military company (PMC) Wagner recruits citizens from Central Asian countries, including Kyrgyzstanis, for the war in Ukraine.
It is reported that over the past few weeks, in Kyrgyz accounts on Instagram, in particular in the account kz.zarplata, there have been advertisements for employment in private security companies (PSCs) in Russia with a high salary and assistance in obtaining Russian citizenship. However, according to journalist Argen Baktybek uulu, if one calls the number indicated in the ad, he is told that employees in the private security companies are no longer required “due to a change in priorities”, and they offer another job – “performing tasks in the special operation zone in Ukraine.”
“Contact person started sharing pre-prepared messages with us. They offered 240 thousand rubles a month, a schedule of more than four months of work. They didn’t ask about military training. They even take people with a criminal record, as long as they are not citizens of the EU and NATO countries. A simplified form of obtaining Russian citizenship is provided for service for more than 6 months. But most importantly, they write that the recruit will perform tasks in the special operation zone in Ukraine and that the organization works in the interests of the Russian Ministry of Defense. There is no provision for compensation in the event of injury. And it’s not a fact that the promised money will be paid,” says Argen.
The contact person indicated in the ads asks interested citizens to come to Molkino (Krasnodar Territory) and is identified as Wagner PMC. Back in early March 2022, the Russian service of the BBC wrote that the base and recruiting center of the Wagner PMC were supposedly located in Molkino.
According to investigators, announcements about the recruitment of mercenaries for the war in Ukraine began to be distributed on the social networks of Uzbekistan as well.
It is known about at least 5 natives of Kyrgyzstan who fought on the side of the Russian Armed Forces and died in Ukraine. One of the reasons why the citizens of Central Asia go to fight on the side of the Russian Federation is the promise to quickly obtain Russian citizenship. On December 29, 2021, a draft law was submitted to the State Duma, according to which the period for consideration of applications for admission to the citizenship of the Russian Federation from military personnel under a contract in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is reduced from one year to three months. The bill has not yet been adopted, but from the very beginning of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, some migrants began to receive calls from shady firms which promised to provide citizenships within three months if they sign a contract. In April, 15 migrants living in Russia spoke about this. Currently, the recruitment of military men with promises of obtaining Russian citizenship has begun in the territory of the countries of Central Asia.