The Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told Vladimir Putin on Friday that 16,000 volunteers in the Middle East had already signed up to join the Russian invasion force.
During the virtual meeting of Russia’s Security Council Putin said he wants the fighters to come to help the people living in Donbas, but not for money.
Putin told Shoigu, “If you see that there are these people who want of their own accord, not for money, to come to help the people living in Donbas, then we need to give them what they want and help them get to the conflict zone.”
Shoigu also told the Russian President that Western-made Javelin and Stinger missiles captured by their army in Ukraine will be handed over to fighters in the Donbas region.
Putin said, “As to the delivery of arms, especially Western-made ones which have fallen into the hands of the Russian army – of course, I support the possibility of giving these to the military units of the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics.”
Putin then told Shoigu, “Please do this.”
Sky News’ Niall Paterson told the former British defence secretary Liam Fox of the news, he cast doubt on the claims.
Dr Fox said, “Russia has been giving us non-stop propaganda. I would doubt anything they say is true.
“They denied they were using conscripts on the frontline, and we now know they were.
“They told us they were making great progress but we know they are taking heavy losses.
“They said they would be welcomed as liberators and they have faced fierce resistance across Ukraine.”