A number of Russian entities are paying $350 per month to young Palestinian men, recruiting them to be sent to Ukraine, according to a report by The Media Line citing a source in the Lebanese state security services. According to the article, the recruitment is being carried out in coordination with the Lebanese-based, Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization. Radio Liberty cited the article in a news item on its Telegram channel earlier today.
According to the outlet, Hezbollah is “actively” enlisting young supporters who are “skilled in operating drones” along with “individuals with expertise in guerrilla warfare in urban areas.” Some 300 Palestinians have already been sent to the front lines after completing “rapid training in Russia,” according to the publication. Another group of approximately 100 fighters is reportedly being prepared for deployment to Ukraine, wrote The Media Line.
Most of the Palestinians being sent to the frontlines in Ukraine hail from Ein Al-Khalwa, the largest Palestine refugee camp in Lebanon, just south of the port city of Sidon. The recruits are also reportedly members of the Fatah movement, whose leader is the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.
In April 2022, media reports claimed Russia was massively recruiting Syrians to send to Ukraine, with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stating the involvement of 16,000 “volunteers from the Middle East,” primarily recruited by the Wagner PMC. Syrian media outlets also reported on the recruitment. According to a publication based in Deir ez-Zor, Russia offered volunteers from Syria between $200 and $300 to “go to Ukraine and work as guards” on a six-month contract.