Cuba has uncovered a human trafficking ring that coerced its citizens to fight for Russia in the war in Ukraine, its foreign ministry said, adding that Cuban authorities were working to “neutralize and dismantle” the network.
The statement from Cuba’s foreign ministry late on Monday gave few details, but noted the trafficking ring was operating both within the Caribbean island nation, thousands of miles from Moscow, and in Russia.
“The Ministry of the Interior… is working on the neutralization and dismantling of a human trafficking network that operates from Russia to incorporate Cuban citizens living there, and even some from Cuba, into the military forces participating in war operations in Ukraine,” the Cuban government statement said.
Russia’s defense ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Russia last year announced a plan to boost the size of its armed forces by more than 30% to 1.5 million combat personnel, a lofty goal made harder by its heavy but undisclosed casualties in the war.
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