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Ukraine says Russia has recruited nearly 1,000 mercenaries from Syria

Ukraine said Friday that the Russian army has recruited nearly a thousand mercenaries from Syria.

“The Russian occupiers, which have suffered huge losses during the war, have already recruited mercenaries from the troops under the command of (Syria’s) Bashar al-Assad regime and (Lebanese group) Hezbollah's so-called army,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a statement.

The Russia-Ukraine war, which started on Feb. 24, has drawn international condemnation, led to financial restrictions on Moscow and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia.

At least 780 civilians have been killed and 1,252 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, according to the UN, while noting that conditions on the ground make it difficult to verify the true number.

More than 3.16 million people have also fled to neighboring countries, said the UN refugee agency.


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